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Partial harvesting combined with underplanting may be a means to reduce the risk of regeneration failure when e.g. unfavourable microclimatic conditions or severe damage by bark-feeding insects may be expected after clear-cutting, and to maintain or establish certain stand structures or tree species mixture. In this study, we performed time studies of manual planting with and without prior site preparation (patch scarification, inverting) in partially harvested stands of Norway spruce (Picea abies (L.) Karst.). The harvest treatments included basal area removals of approx. 35, 45, and 55%, and a patch clear-cut treatment that was assumed to provide the same conditions for planting as conventional clear-cutting. Site preparation had a much larger influence on time consumption plant–1 (main time) than the harvest treatment. The lowest time consumption was found with inverting and the highest without site preparation. The time spent on walking between planting spots increased with decreasing harvest intensity, reflecting a lower density of planted seedlings in the partially harvested stands. A corresponding increase in main time per plant only occurred after site preparation, since the time spent on clearing the planting spot (removal of logging residue and humus) on untreated plots was higher at the higher harvest strengths. The variation in time consumption attributed to the six replicate stands was large and mainly due to the difference among stands planted by different workers.