A study was made of cambial activity, the localization of storage starch around the cambium, and the localization and occurrence of microtubules in cambial cells from dormancy to reactivation in locally heated (22-26 degrees C) stems of the evergreen conifer Abies sachalinensis. Heating induced localized reactivation of the cambium in the heated portions of the stem. Erect ray cambial cells resumed cell division 1 d prior to the reactivation of fusiform cambial cells and procumbent ray cambial cells. The re-initiation of the division of fusiform cambial cells occurred first on the phloem side. During the heat treatment, the amount of storage starch decreased in procumbent ray cambial cells and in the phloem parenchyma adjacent to the cambium but increased in fusiform cambial cells. Preprophase bands of microtubules, spindle microtubules and phragmoplast microtubules were observed both in erect ray cambial cells and in procumbent ray cambial cells. By contrast, no evidence of the presence of such preprophase bands of microtubules was detected in fusiform cambial cells. The results suggest that the localized heating of stems of evergreen conifers might provide a useful experimental model system for studies of the dynamics of cambial reactivation in intact trees.