Sucrose has been reported to play multiple roles in the winter biology of temperate woody species. However, no report on the molecular basis of sucrose transport in xylem tissue has yet been made. In the walnut tree, it is demonstrated that during the autumn-winter period, active absorption of sucrose from xylem vessels to parenchyma cells (sucrose influx) is much higher when samplings were taken shortly after a period of freezing temperatures. Here, the question of whether this increased sucrose influx mirrors a regulation of sucrose transporters in xylem tissue was tested. A putative sucrose transporter cDNA (JrSUT1: Juglans regia sucrose transporter 1) was isolated. Over the autumn-winter period, JrSUT1 transcripts and respective proteins were present in xylem parenchyma cells and highly detected when samplings were performed shortly after a freeze-thaw cycle. This up-regulation of JrSUT1 level was confirmed in controlled conditions and was not obtained in bark. Immunolocalization studies showed that JrSUT1 and plasma membrane H+ -ATPase (JrAHA) were colocalized to vessel-associated cells (VACs), which control solute exchanges between parenchyma cells and xylem vessels. We propose that JrSUT1 could be involved in the retrieval of sucrose from xylem vessel. All these data are discussed with respect to the winter biology of the walnut tree.