Do Trees Get Frostbite in the Winter?

August 10, 2020 7:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

While summer is finally upon us and we’re able to enjoy the great outdoors (and our great backyards) a bit more than we usually do, it’s never too early to turn your attention to thoughts of cooler weather and the problems it can bring. Wintertime means bitter cold, which people can combat with heavy clothing and hot cocoa, and animals can battle with fur and fat, but what does it mean for plants? Whether or not you’ll ever see frostbit trees in Utah is an interesting question, and as the area’s premier expert on lumber and lumber supplies, it’s one we’re happy to address.

The harm of outside elements

While things like animals and plants are better suited to battling weather conditions without extra assistance than humans are, it’s still a delicate balance. If any type of weather is presented in excess, it can start to harm living things. Plants cannot withstand sustained heat, for example, and animals will not thrive in an ice storm. The bitter cold of the wintertime can cause repercussions for trees, but those consequences are likely going to be rare, as trees are resilient and tough living things that are well suited for most conditions.

Trees and bitter cold

Trees typically don’t freeze to death, but it is possible for this to happen. They contain an enormous amount of water (up to half of their weight), so when that water freezes in the wintertime, they could find themselves in trouble in the right conditions. So, the answer to those in Utah who may be wondering, “Do trees get frostbite?” the answer is yes.

There is quite a bit of variety within this category, though—different trees freeze at different temperatures, altitudes and heights. The team at Huberwoods takes pride in understanding these critical differences between species and how they can help inform our lumber company to better work with our customers.

How do trees fight the cold?

Hibernation is a well-known part of animal life that we’re all familiar with—many animals simply shut down in the wintertime and rest up so they’re ready for the warmer days of spring to arrive. Trees actually do much the same in order to not become frostbit trees in Utah—they go into dormancy, which allows them to avoid the brutal effects of cold. They move water from their cells to the spaces between them, which lets them protect the cells from the catastrophic effects of freezing.

Taking care of trees is a vital part of maintaining a balanced and complete ecosystem, but we should not underestimate their own internal systems. We don’t see many frostbit trees in Utah because they have evolved over millions of years to protect themselves and ensure they’re able to survive for the warmer months ahead. If you want to learn more about how you can care for trees on your property or are wondering about the other unique defense mechanisms that make up a tree’s lifecycle, please call us today—we’ll be happy to serve you!

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