We summarize what is known about the impact of ozone (O(3)) on Pinus cembra in the timberline ecotone of the central European Alps and the Carpathian Mountains. In the central European Alps exposure to ambient and two-fold ambient O(3) throughout one growing season did neither cause any visible injury nor affect the photosynthetic machinery and biochemical parameters in current to 1-year-old needles. By contrast, in the southern French Alps and in the Carpathians 1-year-old needles of Pinus cembra trees showed visual symptoms similar to those observed in O(3) stressed pine stands in southern California. For the southern French Alps the observed symptoms could clearly be attributed O(3) and differences in O(3) uptake seems to be the likely key factor for explaining the observed decline. For the Carpathians however, other reasons such as drought may not be excluded in eliciting the observed symptoms. Thus, the action of O(3) has always to be evaluated in concert with other environmental impacts, determining the tree's sensitivity to stress.