In forest nurseries seedlings are commonly produced using different cultivation systems which may have a profound effect on the extent of root colonisation by ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi and, consequently, on subsequent performance of the outplanted seedlings under field conditions. In this study, we compare effects of bare-root and containerised cultivation systems on mycorrhization, establishment and growth of nursery-produced Picea abies. One hectare experimental plantation was established on poor fertility sandy site. In total, 1250 seedlings of each treatment were planted in rows as ten individual replicates. The results of this study showed that production of P. abies seedlings using containerised system can yield abundant ECM colonisation of seedling roots and significantly improve seedling survival in the field. Some reduction in height increment may occur during the first years as a possible cost for support of ECMs. Study demonstrated that selection of proper cultivation system might result in similar or higher mycorrhization and survival rates of outplanted seedlings than achieved by expensive and laborious artificial mycorrhization.