The effect of chronic exposure to road dust, calcium carbonate and soot on plant growth, was investigated in an experiment with 40 spruces of common heredity that were three years old at the start of the experiment and five years old at its conclusion. The plants were exposed for the entire 1956 growing season to the effect of a heavy coating of dust. In the following year, the growth performance and the production of shoots and needle mass in plants treated with dust were substantially below the untreated control plants. The root mass produced was also smaller in the treated plants than in those untreated. The considerable growth retardation after a heavy layering of dust lasting one growing season is primarily explained by the withdrawal of light and the resultant reduction in assimilation performance. In exposure to soot, however, the corrosive effect of the chemicals contained in the soot increased the extent of the damage to the plants.