Variation in radial increment at different stem heights was compared with stem volume increment and height increment using thinning experiments of Picea abies (L.) Karst. in southern Finland. The magnitude of growth variation was similar on trees from different crown classes and stand densities. However, there was higher autocorrelation in the codominant and intermediate trees and trees on dense plots. The relationship between short-term volume increment and radial increment variation at breast height was not affected by thinnings. While short-term growth variation was similar at different stem heights, some evidence was found for differences in medium-term variation between radial increment at breast height and volume increment. Height increment reacted to unfavourable climatic events later than radial and volume increment. Radial and volume increments were negatively correlated to temperature and positively correlated to precipitation of the current summer. Height increment was positively related to current early summer temperature, but negatively to temperature of the previous summer.