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Effectiveness of artificial Breeze for frost protection

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bovine421:
Thursday morning I was out of ideas and resources so I took a house fan and put it on my sweet tart. After taking a long nap from gardening. I asked my Google Assistant if I could use a fan for frost protection. Apparently they do in Texas. From my initial reading they said put it on the lowest setting because too much can be counterproductive. So I've been contemplating on ways on how I could incorporate this into my Frost protection procedures. I was thinking once a tree kind of gets too big to cover with frost blankets. Would incandescent large Christmas lights and a shop pedestal fan pointed upwards have any beneficial effect?
I would really like to hear if anyone has any thoughts or ideas on this subject

fruitnut1944:
The fans only work if there is an inversion and the fan is strong enough to pull down the warm air. An inversion is when it's warmer with increasing elevation. It occurs on a cold still night. The air 30ft up may be several degrees warmer than at the surface. A strong fan can push that warm air down to the surface.

What's worked for me is a heat source around the tree and a covering over that.

Galatians522:
Many years ago they used giant fans to protect the commercial orange groves around here. They looked like the wind mills that generate electric power out west and you can still see them in a few old groves. As mentioned, they only worked under certain conditions and fell out of favor about the time microjet irrigation became common. After many years of trying different methods of frost protection, I have concluded that water is the easiest. Many years ago (when I was young and foolish) I used open fire and a fan to direct the heat into the tree canopy. It worked ok, except that I had to sleep out there so I could stoke the fire every couple hours. I should say that it worked ok until I caught some leaf litter under the tree on fire and awoke to a blazing inferno. I got the fire put out before it spread very far or did too much damage to my tree, but that was the end of that method of frost protection.  :o

If you can afford a shallow well and some microjet sprinklers, that is the easiest means of frost protection that I have found. Often, people do not think that it will work,but it does. In an experiment that a friend did with pineapples, plants that were iced experienced less cold damage than plants that were covered. You turn the water on at 35 or 36 and go to bed. In the morning you turn it off when it has melted the ice off the tree. It is also cheaper than running a lot of incandescent bulbs and fans.

The University of Florida has some very helpful info out there about how much water it takes to protect certain crops from freezing based on the temperature and wind conditions. Since peach blossoms freeze at about the same temperature as Mango and Lychee it is highly applicable.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://hos.ifas.ufl.edu/stonefruit/production/frost-protection/%23:~:text%3DPeach%2520flower%2520buds%2520that%2520have,protection%2520can%2520prevent%2520such%2520damage.&ved=2ahUKEwjJ4vu94dbuAhWwwVkKHQQQBVEQFjABegQIAhAE&usg=AOvVaw3yjUITjkx8txRJIbfpgYWT

C24mccain:
I've pondered the use of a fan as well. In my case my mangoes have gotten to big to cover. The big freezes we had a few years ago I used burn barrels to save them but now they are even bigger. I have pondered using a fan to direct hot air from a burn barrel into the tree because most of the heat is lost going straight up. I assume a properly placed fan could blow the heat into the tree and protect the higher areas. I haven't quite figured out how I would do it but I may experiment with it someday. I would probably only do it if temps were going to be under 29 for 3-4 hours or more. Using burn barrels is a good amount of work and you could be up most of not all night but I think it's worth it on the rare once or twice severe cold event we get every few years. I also have some smudge pots but I haven't had to use them yet other than tests. Need to figure out how to suspend a fan 5-7 feet off ground that will blow air over the burn barrel pushing the heat into the tree. The fan would be a few feet away from the barrel so you would have: fan, space, barrel, space, tree. Maybe the fan could go between the barrel and tree sucking the warm air into the tree? Not sure. I don't think the fan alone would be enough, a heat source is probably needed. I'll attach some videos I have from the freeze we had a few years ago as well as a test I did with a smudge pot a while back and a shower setup over my jackfruit tree. Maybe it will generate some ideas.

https://youtu.be/EJ6-mF9z73Y 2018 freeze, burn barrels

https://youtu.be/tSk72hiqufo smudge pot

https://youtu.be/cRIk16Z7970 shower

C24mccain:

--- Quote from: Galatians522 on February 06, 2021, 09:52:17 PM ---Many years ago they used giant fans to protect the commercial orange groves around here. They looked like the wind mills that generate electric power out west and you can still see them in a few old groves. As mentioned, they only worked under certain conditions and fell out of favor about the time microjet irrigation became common. After many years of trying different methods of frost protection, I have concluded that water is the easiest. Many years ago (when I was young and foolish) I used open fire and a fan to direct the heat into the tree canopy. It worked ok, except that I had to sleep out there so I could stoke the fire every couple hours. I should say that it worked ok until I caught some leaf litter under the tree on fire and awoke to a blazing inferno. I got the fire put out before it spread very far or did too much damage to my tree, but that was the end of that method of frost protection.  :o

If you can afford a shallow well and some microjet sprinklers, that is the easiest means of frost protection that I have found. Often, people do not think that it will work,but it does. In an experiment that a friend did with pineapples, plants that were iced experienced less cold damage than plants that were covered. You turn the water on at 35 or 36 and go to bed. In the morning you turn it off when it has melted the ice off the tree. It is also cheaper than running a lot of incandescent bulbs and fans.

The University of Florida has some very helpful info out there about how much water it takes to protect certain crops from freezing based on the temperature and wind conditions. Since peach blossoms freeze at about the same temperature as Mango and Lychee it is highly applicable.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://hos.ifas.ufl.edu/stonefruit/production/frost-protection/%23:~:text%3DPeach%2520flower%2520buds%2520that%2520have,protection%2520can%2520prevent%2520such%2520damage.&ved=2ahUKEwjJ4vu94dbuAhWwwVkKHQQQBVEQFjABegQIAhAE&usg=AOvVaw3yjUITjkx8txRJIbfpgYWT

--- End quote ---

In my use of burn barrels a few years ago I was afraid of fire so I kept a hose with me and watered the ground every couple of hours. I would sometimes snooze for about 45 minutes but I used my alarm to wake me up as I had to add wood to burn barrels. Obviously using fire is risky and anyone doing so should take precautions.

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