The effects of seedling type (2-year-old container seedlings vs. 4-year-old bare-rooted seedlings) and post-planting vegetation control intensity on the growth and survival of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.) seedlings were compared based on 15-year data from a field experiment established on arable land. Vegetation control treatments with terbuthylazine and glyphosate were carried out 1–3 times on successive years, either as overall or spot applications. The highest stand volumes were obtained with the combination of large bare-rooted seedlings and effective vegetation control. Volume of bare-rooted seedlings was greater than that of container seedlings in all treatments (e.g. on the control plots 9.5 m3/ha vs. 4.1 m3/ha). The best results were obtained with the most intensive weed control treatments (spot treatment repeated twice and overall application repeated three times). These treatments increased both bare-rooted and containerised seedlings’ survival by 33–40% units and their height, breast height diameter, and volume by 45–49%, 17–47%, and 249–279%, respectively. In terms of survival, the container seedlings, in due part to their smaller size, benefited from vegetation control more than the bare-rooted seedlings. Successive early summer frosts damaged the seedlings and significantly retarded their growth. The frequency of frost damage was not affected by vegetation control nor was it attributed to seedling type.