Upheaval of seedlings. - This is a common form of injury, resulting in death by drought and exposure, especially in seedling pines, wheat, etc., in soils exposed to alternate freezing and thawing during spring when there is no snow to protect the plants. The soil freezes during the night, and during the thaw next day water accumulates just below the surface. The freezing is then repeated, and, partly owing to the expansion of the forming ice and partly to the mechanical effect of the ice-crystals in the interstices, the surface of the soil is lifted and draws the roots with it. During the succeeding thaw the soil particles fall away from the lifted root-fibres, and frequent repetition of these processes results in such complete exposure of the roots to the full sun that the plantlet falls over and wilts.
Exposure of roots is also sometimes effected by winds displacing sandy soils liable to shifting in dry weather, and the resulting wilting of the plants thus exposed at their roots may be supplemented by damage due to the repeated impact of the wind-driven sharp grains of sand, which act like a sand-blast and erode the tissues.
In many of the cases given above the principal result is the weakening or destruction of the chlorophyll action. This means a loss of carbohydrates - sugars, starches, etc. - and in so far a starvation of the plant. The injurious effects are quantitative and cumulative: if large areas of foliage are concerned, or if the effect lasts a long time, the plant suffers from loss of food, and may die. In those cases where the effect is due to the cutting off of supplies at the roots, and where the yellowing is a secondary symptom, the disease is more general in character, and recovery is often im possible, because the loss of water cannot be compensated, and the results may be further complicated by the gradual penetration of poisonous matter into the cells. It is frequently necessary, though sometimes very difficult, to decide which is the primary and which secondary (or tertiary, etc.) symptoms in the order of their importance, and the diagnosis may be complicated by a number of accessory factors which it is impossible to treat generally.