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?
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.
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
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
Maybe a Google search for citrus frost protection will turn up some good
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