Warming-induced shrub growth in the Arctic traps snow and modifies snow properties, hence the permafrost thermal regime. In the Canadian high Arctic, we measured snow physical properties in the presence and absence of willow shrubs (Salix richardsonii
). Shrubs dramatically reduce snow density and thermal conductivity, seriously limiting soil winter cooling. Simulations taking into account only winter changes show that shrub growth leads to a ground winter warming of up to 13 °C.