Extracts of acids from mature seeds, germinating seeds, first, second and third year seedlings as well as mature, flowering trees of sweet cherry (Prunus avium L. cv. Stella) were analysed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. The presence of the known gibberellins (GAs) GA1 (1), GA3 (4), GA5 (7), GA8 (11), GA19 (14), GA20 (12), GA29 (13), GA32 (5), GA85 (2), GA86 (3) and GA87 (6) was confirmed by comparison of their mass spectra and Kovats retention indices with those of standards or literature values. In addition, 16alpha,17-dihydrodihydroxy GA25 (16) was identified and its stereochemistry confirmed by rational synthesis. The 12alpha,13-dihydroxy GAs, GA32 (5), GA86 (2), GA86 (3) and GA87 (6), were detected in mature seeds, germinating seeds and young seedlings, but not in flowering plants. The 13-hydroxy GAs, GA1 (1) and GA3 (4), were present in germinating seeds and, in addition to these, GA5 (7), GA8 (11), GA19 (14), GA20 (12) and GA29 (13) were detected in seedlings and mature flowering plants. In germinating seeds and seedlings (while the plants were growing actively), concentrations of the 12alpha,13-dihydroxy GAs, measured by bioassay, declined and those of the 13-hydroxy GAs increased. The results are discussed with reference to the known and predicted effects of the GAs on the vegetative growth and flowering of P. avium plants.