Why is a quick thaw generally more damaging to a frozen tender plant than a slow thaw?

by Andrew

As a professional horticulturalist, I have always known that, anti-intuatively, putting a frosted plant in the sun or where it is warm is the worst thing you can do!

A slow thaw usually produces much less frost damage than a fast thaw. But why? I really don't know and have always wondered why.

I understand how the rate of freezing can effect the amount of frost damage but not the rate of thawing.

Can anyone explain to me what is going on on the cellular level? Is it something to do with the movements of microscopic ice crystals as they thaw?

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