PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Plants have developed mechanisms to withstand stressful environmental conditions, but the high energetic cost of these mechanisms may involve exchanges with other key functions. While trade-off s between cold hardiness and growth rates are a general assumption, we lack information regarding genetically based trade-off s between cold hardiness and other life-history traits. Such information has strong implications for tree conservation and breeding, especially in the context of ongoing climate change. METHODS: We used a common garden progeny test to examine the relationships between seasonal cold hardiness and life-history traits of growth, reproduction, juvenile ontogeny, and phenology in 75 families of six maritime pine ( Pinus pinaster Ait.) populations, three of continental and three of coastal origins. KEY RESULTS: We found a clear diff erentiation among populations with regard to cold hardiness and life-history traits. Two continental Iberian populations showed high cold tolerance and slower growth, but faster ontogenetic development in relation to both vegetative heteroblastic change in juveniles and the onset of female reproduction. The coastal populations displayed the opposite behavior, while the continental Moroccan population presented a unique combination of traits. We confi rmed trade-off s between cold-hardiness and growth at the population level, but not within populations. There were no trade-off s with other life-history traits at either level. CONCLUSIONS: Relevant local adaptation syndromes were identifi ed in the relationship between cold hardiness and life-history traits. These should be considered in developing tree management guidelines aimed at increasing productivity or adaptability under the expected conditions of climate change.