Isoprene and monoterpene emission rates were measured from Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis Bong.) with a dynamic flow-through branch enclosure, both in the laboratory and in the field in the United Kingdom. In the laboratory, emission rates of isoprene comprised over 94% of the identified VOC species, and were exponentially related to temperature over a period of 1 day. This exponential relationship broke down at ∼33°C. Field measurements were taken on five sampling days in 1992 and 1993, in Grizedale Forest, Cumbria. Total emission rates were in the range 36-3771 ng g−1 h−1. Relative emissions were more variable than suggested by laboratory measurements, with monoterpenes contributing at least 64% to the total emissions in most cases. There was a significant variation in the basal emission rate both across the growing season and between different ages of vegetation, the causes of which are as yet unknown. Total emission rates, in July 1993, were estimated to be between 0.01 and 0.27% of assimilated carbon.