This paper describes an experimental test program and theoretical analysis which examines the reinforcing in flexure of glued laminated timber (glulam) beams using bonded-in carbon fiber reinforced polymer (CFRP) bars. A series of four-point bending tests were conducted till failure on unreinforced, passively reinforced and prestressed Douglas fir glulam beams in a simply-supported scheme. The focus of this research was to evaluate the reinforcing efficiency of both passively reinforced and prestressed beams. Test results showed that the flexural capacity of the reinforced, prestressed, prestressed & reinforced (bottom prestressed and top reinforced) beams greatly increased by 64.8%, 93.3% and 131%, respectively. While the maximum improvement of the bending stiffness reached 42.0%. Another important finding was that the extreme fiber tensile strain of timber beams at failure could be remarkably increased due to the presence of the tension reinforcement, which indicated it overcomes the effects of local defects and therefore the failure mode was changed from brittle tension failure to ductile compression failure. Based on the experimental results, a theoretical model was proposed to predict the flexural capacity of unreinforced, reinforced and prestressed timber beams, which was validated by the test data.