We showed that temperature responses of dark respiration for foliage of Pinus radiata could be approximated by Arrhenius kinetics, whereby E0 determines shape of the exponential response and denotes overall activation energy of respiratory metabolism. Reproducible and predictable deviation from strict Arrhenius kinetics depended on foliage age, and differed between RCO2 and RO2. Inhibition of oxygen reduction (RO2) by cyanide (inhibiting COX) or SHAM (inhibiting AOX) resulted in reproducible changes of the temperature sensitivity for RO2, but did not affect RCO2. Enthalpic growth – preservation of electrons in anabolic products – could be approximated with knowledge of four variables: activation energies (E0) for both RCO2 and RO2, and basal rates of respiration at a low reference temperature (RREF). Rates of enthalpic growth by P. radiata needles were large in spring due to differences between RREF of oxidative decarboxylation and that of oxygen reduction, while overall activation energies for the two processes were similar. Later during needle development, enthalpic growth was dependent on differences between E0 for RCO2 as compared with RO2, and increased E0(RO2) indicated greater contributions of cytochrome oxidase to accompany the switch from carbohydrate sink to source. Temperature-dependent increments in stored energy can be calculated as the difference between RCO2▵HCO2 and RO2▵HO2.