We measured carbon stocks at two forest reserves in the cloud forest region of Monteverde, comparing cleared land, experimental secondary forest plots, and mature forest at each location to assess the effectiveness of reforestation in sequestering biomass and soil carbon. The biomass carbon stock measured in the mature forest at the Monteverde Institute is similar to other measurements of mature tropical montane forest biomass carbon in Costa Rica. Local historical records and the distribution of large trees suggest a mature forest age of greater than 80 years. The forest at La Calandria lacks historical documentation, and dendrochronological dating is not applicable. However, based on the differences in tree size, above -ground biomass carbon, and soil carbon between the Monteverde Institute and La Calandria sites, we estimate an age difference of at least 30 years of the mature forests. Experimental secondary forest plots at both sites have accumulated biomass at lower than expected rates, suggesting local limiting factors, such as nutrient limitation. We find that soil carbon content is primarily a function of time and that altitudinal differences between the study sites do not play a role.