Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: June 15, 2003
Publication Date: August 1, 2003
Citation: WISNIEWSKI, M.E., BASSETT, C.L., GUSTA, L. AN OVERVIEW OF COLD HARDINESS IN WOODY PLANTS. HORTSCIENCE. AUGUST 2003, Volume 38, pgs. 953-959. Technical Abstract: In response to seasonal changes in growing conditions, trees and other perennials have evolved the ability to cold acclimate as well as undergo a period of dormancy. Cold hardiness is a complex trait with several contributing factors. It is also a dynamic process that changes with time. Factors involved include bark and wood hardiness, the onset of dormancy, flower bud-break and freezing tolerance of buds, root hardiness, the influence of roots on scion growth, the frost hardiness of current year growth versus older growth, the influence of crop load on the induction of frost tolerance, and the effect of cultural practices. The development of cold hardiness in trees can be divided into five categories; the time of induction of cold acclimation, the rate of acclimation, the degree of freezing tolerance attained, the maintenance of freezing tolerance during winter months, and the rate of loss of freezing tolerance upon resumption of spring growth. The present article provides a historical review of cold hardiness research, including recent progress resulting from the application of molecular biology and biotechnology.