Plants and Cold Temperature Stress
Date: Fall 2009
What is the scientific process of a plant dying from cold
In early frosts, most plants not adapted to freezing die because the water
in their leaves and stems freezes and ruptures their vital cells.
But different plants adapt to different conditions.....differently.
For example, pine trees have needles that can withstand freezing
temperatures whereas oak, elm, and maple trees learned to shed their leaves
when the cold water approaches and grow new ones when it warms up.
Different species of plants have different temperature requirements including
Cold hardiness zone maps are used as guides for which plants can grow in
Anthony R. Brach, PhD
Missouri Botanical Garden
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Update: June 2012