Unlike wildlife, plants cannot migrate to warmer climates for winter. Nor do they grow extra "covering" to keep out the chill. In fact, going bare is part of many trees' overwintering strategy. Test your knowledge of these strategies.

1. How do annual plants survive winter?

A. As roots
B. As seeds
C. As shoots
D. They don't

2. In addition to producing a lot of seeds, perennial herbaceous plants live off underground "food/energy storage" parts that will send up shoots come spring. These parts are known as:

A. Bulbs
B. Tap roots
C. Tubers
D. All of the above

3. What is believed to be the main trigger that alerts most trees when to prepare for winter, and when winter is over, when to start blooming/budding?

A. Amount of sunlight
B. Temperature
C. A set period of dormancy for each species
D. Barometric pressure

4. What is the purpose of the extra sugar in maple sap during winter?

A. Antifreeze
B. Stored nutrition
C. Insect repellent
D. Waste removal

5. Why do deciduous trees "go bare" for the winter?

A. To conserve water
B. The leaves are no longer able to produce enough food to support their existence
C. To reduce the area that could trap and be weighed down by snow
D. All of the above

6. What adaptations help to prevent evergreens from being weighed down by snow?

A. Thin needles aren't able to hold much snow
B. Evergreens' metabolisms are higher than deciduous trees, which makes them warmer than the latter. This melts the snow more readily.
C. Their conical shape only allows the snow to collect on the ends of the branches, where it easily drops off.
D. A & C

7. Most evergreens have waxy leaves/needles. What purpose does this waxy surface serve?

A. It prevents the leaves/needles from losing water.
B. It allows sunlight to reach the food-producing chlorophyll that lies protected beneath it.
C. It makes the leaves less palatable to tree-chomping animals.
D. All of the above


1. B
2. D
3. A
4. A
5. D
6. D
7. D