Something Wild: How Trees Survive Winter

Here at Something Wild , we don’t have a problem with winter. Aside from the snow and the cold and the freezing rain…okay, maybe we have a couple issues. But we have sweaters and hot cocoa and Netflix. Trees, however, do not. As the snow piles up, you may see trees bent over with their crowns nearly touching the ground, leafless and haggard. They can’t escape or hide from the cold, so how do trees survive? Just like any living thing, trees have adapted over time to deal with the range of environmental conditions thrown their way. In this case, freezing rain, ice-loading, or heavy wet snow. Trees that aren’t adapted to survive periodic ice loading don’t live here. Some trees (like pine or spruce) simply bend or fold branches to shrug off snow. Other trees (like oaks) try to stand rigid and inflexible. Stout oaks and sugar maples are famous for big heavy branches that don’t break. On the other hand, branches of beech and red maple tend to break apart under heavy snow loads. Most of our

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