Increased tree growth in temperate and boreal forests has been proposed as a direct consequence of a warming climate. Acid deposition effects on nutrient availability may influence the climate dependency of tree growth, however. This study presents an analysis of archived soil samples that has enabled changes in soil chemistry to be tracked with patterns of tree growth through the 20th century. Soil samples collected in 1926, 1964, and 2001, near St. Petersburg, Russia, showed that acid deposition was likely to have decreased root-available concentrations of Ca (an essential element) and increased root-available concentrations of Al (an inhibitor of Ca uptake). These soil changes coincided with decreased diameter growth and a suppression of climate-tree growth relationships in Norway spruce. Expected increases in tree growth from climate warming may be limited by decreased soil fertility in regions of northern and eastern Europe, and eastern North America, where Ca availability has been reduced by acidic deposition. ?? 2005 American Chemical Society.