Save my citrus tree from freezing.

I have a couple of grapefruit trees in my backyard in Houston and want to protect them from freezing. They are big - 15 feet tall and 20 feet diameter total. I have electricity availabe..
What do you suggest?
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PJx wrote:

http://tfpg.cas.psu.edu/part1/part19c.htm (frost protection for tree fruit)
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as is done in Oxnard, CA - fans. overhead water them and then turn on fan(s). It takes more energy to freeze the water on the leaves thereby keeping the trees warmer and the fan keeps the air from settling and getting colder - molecules bumping together. My 2 cents, since I am sure you don't have smudge pots.
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First, it depends on temperature. If it's going to 32 at night for just a few hours, most citrus won't freeze and the grapefruit will actually sweeten. For deeper drops, maybe to 28 for a few hours, overhead sprinkling will solve most of your issue. Extended terms, you'll need to deal with a frost cover (bed sheets work great) and air movement, fans or the like, plus sprinkling. If you were commercial I'd suggest heaters of some sort, but it's usually not worth the effort for home trees. If you do get a freeze, pick the fruit (it'll drop anyway) and juice it, then freeze the juice.
It takes a long, hard freeze to kiill grapefruit, though a late freeze can wilt the blooms and you'll lose the crop. Talk to your local agricultural extension agent for even more help, specific to your area.
Jeff
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wrote:

On those rare freeze nights here in Arizona I just turn on the swimming pool aerator and FOG the whole back yard ;-)
...Jim Thompson
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wrote:

I believe they turn on the sprinklers in FL. Water at, say 60 deg., has a lot of heat in it.
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wrote:

Latest advice is to wrap the trunk with insulation,build up mulch and cover to protect the 'foot' of the tree from cold,and use water spray for the top of the tree.The suggestion to get advice from the local AG agent is very good.
Maybe a Google search for citrus frost protection will turn up some good stuff,too.
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Jim Yanik
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rec.gardens might be helpful also.
wrote:

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