Credit: Chuck Fazio for American Forests.
In light of the recently dipping temperatures thanks to Winter Storm Jonas, have you ever thought about how certain trees are able to thrive in such extreme cold? While you’re cozying up on the couch this evening with a piping mug of hot chocolate, take a minute to read about the amazing processes trees go through to keep warm through the winter months.
What Happens When It Gets Cold?
Some trees are able to survive down to the temperatures of liquid nitrogen, or -196° C/-320° F! That leads to the question of: how? Trees go dormant in the winter and will acclimate in order to prevent death by ice crystals. See, living things can’t necessarily die from just temperature alone. What is really deadly is when water freezes inside of the cell. When water freezes, its molecules reorient themselves into expanded, geometric shapes that can then rip through the walls of the tree’s cells.