Organic acids may play a key role in rhizosphere and pedogenic processes. The effects of young trees and ectomycorrhizas on the soil solution concentrations of low molecular weight organic acids (LMWOAs) were studied in soil columns (E horizon) in the presence or absence of Pinus sylvestris and Picea abies with or without three ectomycorrhizal fungi. Several LMWOAs were identified at concentrations ranging from <0.1 to 11 μM. Compared to soil columns without tree seedlings, the presence of non-mycorrhizal or mycorrhizal tree seedlings sometimes resulted in small but statistically significant increases in citrate, formate, malonate and oxalate concentration. The general nutrient concentration and low P had little short-term effect on soil solution organic acid concentrations. The results suggest that biodegradation rather than production may be the major factor regulating soil solution organic acid concentrations.