The in vitro response of sweet cherry rootstock Gisela 5 (Prunus cerasus x Prunus canescens) to increasing concentrations of NaCl (0, 50, 100 and 150 mM) in the Murashige and Skoog culture medium was studied. Induced salinity reduced growth and chlorophyll content in shoots but had no effect on water content. The increase in malondialdehyde content indicated that salinity induced oxidative stress which was accompanied with the visible symptoms of salt injury in the shoots. Antioxidant enzymes, such as superoxide dismutase, ascorbate peroxidase, peroxidase, catalase, and glutathione reductase were also significantly elevated. Although no change was observed in the Cl concentration, Na concentration of shoots significantly rose and NaCl treatments impaired K, Ca and Mg nutrition and induced imbalance in K:Na and Na:Ca ratios.