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Have you ever looked at a tree covered in snow or with ice dangling from its branches and wondered "Is it possible for a tree to freeze to death?". Unless the tree comes from warm climate the answer is no.
So how do trees survive freezing temperatures? The answer is both fascinating and complex. Not all trees have been created the same, but when winter arrives, most trees in the UK survive in a similar fashion. So how do trees survive freezing temperatures? Let's take a look.
How do Trees Survive Freezing Temperatures?
Even in the harshest of winters, trees have a way to survive the biting cold. It is possible but rare for a tree to freeze to death. To a certain extent, trees do freeze because half of their mass is made up of water. However, they have a system that works against cells freezing which means that, come Spring, they are ready to produce leaves and blooms once more.
How Cold Does It Need to be for a Tree to Freeze?
Each tree is different and the exact temperature that freezes a tree depends upon their species. For most trees, they freeze between -1 degrees celsius and -6 degrees celsius. Obviously, trees native to places around the equator won't survive freezing temperatures and would need greenhouses during the winter months.
How Do Trees Stay Alive in Winter?
Trees go dormant during the winter in much the same way that some animals hibernate. In their dormant state, trees appear to be asleep, but the opposite is true. Trees work hard during the winter to keep their cells alive - but how?
When winter descends across the land, trees push water in-between their cells. This process acts as insulation for the cells that would otherwise be frozen. At the same time, trees convert the starch inside their cells to sugar which protects them from freezing. When most trees lose their leaves during the Autumn, it is because they no longer have to support their leaves. Instead, the trees can stock cells with water which is used over a period of time.
How Do Evergreens Survive the Winter?
Evergreens can survive on much less water than trees that have leaves. Evergreens don't need to shed their needles in order to conserve water because they have the ability to push water into their branches even during the coldest of temperatures. The further north on the globe you go, you will see that evergreens outnumber other types of trees. Evergreens make up most of the Taiga, the boreal forest that surrounds the top of the planet.
Chelmsford Tree Surgeon Can Take Care of Your Trees
Our tree surgeons work all year round, working for residential and commercial clients across the borough of Chelmsford. Call us today to discuss your tree needs, or check out our tree services for more information.