The effect of friction stir welding (FSW) and post weld heat treatment (PWHT) on the second phase particle distribution and cross weld hardness profile in AA7449 plate has been investigated. The alloy was received in an underaged condition, welded, then PWHT to give an overaged condition (in the parent material) . The effect of this complex treatment on the precipitate distribution in the weld and parent plate has been investigated over a range of length scales using small angle X-ray scattering (SAXS), TEM and FEGSEM. It is shown that the PWHT does not improve the hardness in the heat affected zone (HAZ), which is the location of the strength minimum after welding, but it does reduce the difference between the hardness in the HAZ and the nugget and parent hardness. The reduction in nugget strength after PWHT is particularly marked and is due to replacement of fine GP zones formed on post weld natural ageing by coarse overaged precipitates.