Plant development involves various programmed cell death (PCD) processes. Among them, cell death occurring during differentiation of procambium into tracheary elements (TEs), which are a major component of vessels or tracheids, has been studied extensively. Recent studies of PCD during TE differentiation mainly using an in vitro differentiation system of Zinnia have revealed that PCD of TEs is a plant-specific one in which the vacuole plays a central role. Furthermore, there are recent findings of several factors that may initiate PCD of TEs and that act at autonomous degradation of cell contents. Herein I summarize the present knowledge about cell death program during TE differentiation as an excellent example of PCD in plants.