A plate-strip fabricated from the orthotropic material and containing a crack whose edges are parallel to the face planes of the plate is considered. It is assumed that the strip is stretched (or compressed) initially along the crack edges by uniformly distributed external normal forces acting on the simply supported ends of the plate-strip. After this initial stretching (or compression) the crack edges are loaded by additional uniformly distributed normal (opening) forces. As a result of the action of these additional forces the stress concentration characterized by the stress intensity factor (SIF) of mode 1 or by the energy release rate (ERR) of mixed mode arises at the crack tips. In this paper, the influence of the initial stresses on the SIF or ERR is modelled mathematically by the use of the three-dimensional linearized theory of elasticity. The aim of the present investigations is to study the effect of the mechanical-orthotropic properties of the plate-strip material on this influence by the use of the finite element method (FEM) modelling of the corresponding boundary-value problem. Crown Copyright (C) 2008 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.