It is possible to observe a significant difference in swelling strains of unstressed and stressed water soaked wood. This paper points out that the swelling strains depend not only on the magnitude of stress in wood but also on the kind of stress state. Our main aim is to investigate the relation between various states of stress and the swelling strains in water soaked wood. Three different states of stress are studied: tension in the radial direction, compression in the tangential direction with respect to the growth rings, and both these stresses acting together (biaxial stress). Some weighty conclusions follow from the investigations. The main one is that, although the mechanical strains alone are negligibly small compared to the free swelling strains, the coupled mechanical-swelling strains, being a function of the stress state and the moisture content, have a great significance in total strains of water soaked wood.