Climate change causes increased global mean temperatures and modifications of worlds precipitation patterns. In combination with extreme climate events, like drought and heat waves, these changes can lead to drought-induced tree mortality and forest decline. Research into the role of stress impact on plants water- and carbon balance becomes important, especially in species which are considered to be drought resistant. For this reason, we subjected two young woody angiosperms, Fraxinus ornus (F. o.) and Ostrya carpinifolia (O. c.), to five different experimental treatments. Drought stress for at least one month under low light regimes was imposed to induce non-lethal carbon starvation and hydraulic failure. Re-irrigation was used to demonstrate eventual refilling of embolized xylem conduits despite a lack of NSC. Short-term stress under normal light conditions was applied to induce hydraulic failure but without carbon starvation. Also in this case, re-irrigation was used to establish whether xylem-refilling was more successful in these plants. Finally, irrigation was completely suspended to observe possible mechanisms leading to death. We specifically tested the hypothesis that embolism repair in post-drought recovery would be possible only in plants with high NSC-contents at the end of the drought-stress impact. Data highlighted species-specific strategies for coping with drought. In O. c. no hydraulic damage was recorded, while in F. o. drought stress induced high levels of xylem embolism. In F. o., after prolonged drought under low light, the capacity for embolism repair was lower than after short-term stress under normal light regimes. We suggest that these different responses can be attributed to the recorded higher amount of starch in plants subjected to short-term stress compared to those that experienced long-term stress and low light conditions. On the other hand, in O. c. drought stress and low light conditions did not reduce NSC stores in stem.