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We're About to Lose Our Fruit Crops in TN Again
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    USA
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    11,409

    We're About to Lose Our Fruit Crops in TN Again

    I just got in from trying to protect my fruit trees. I'm hoping the halogen lights I put on them will help.

    They are predicting cold in the low 30's and upper 20's between midnight and 9 am tomorrow morning here in the mid-South.

    That is enough cold and enough time to kill off all our peaches, plums, nectarines, strawberries and many other unprotected crops that are already in the fields.


    Last year, we had a harsh April freeze that killed off all the fruits in like six or seven different southern states. This year, there was already a severe shortage of peach, plum and other trees available for purchase because of that freeze.


    Sigh...


    I sure hope the measures I took might help my trees, but that sure will not help all the farmers who are about to loose their crops around here.


    And it's not going to help with any already existing food shortages, either...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Alabama, CSA
    Posts
    11,575
    Sorry to hear that. We are going to be cutting it very close in North Alabama tonight too. My trees are full of pears already and the apple trees are in full bloom. I lost everything last year including my pecans. Pecans haven't started yet though, so I wil be ok on them. So far. The cold can still show up late though.
    Alabama - Independent Now and Forever - Noli Me Tangere

    The Confederacy - Fighting Terrorism Since 1861

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
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    18,959
    I think I would have wrapped Christmas lights, on the branches .I am not sure. I really don't know, maybe some heat lamps. here in this state we can't burn a smudge pot any more, but they work great, or burning a tire or 2 also works ,the heavy smoke keeps the frost off the trees.
    blessings to all momof23goats

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,077
    Barry,

    I am in Tennessee also and we have had to cover our young veggie plants with coffee cans and tea shirts over them. We have 21 plants and the rest in seeds.

    Forecast for tonight is 32 degrees; right on the nose.

  5. I hope you can save them. A late freeze here in Texas got my fruit trees, so I won't have any fruit this year. Like Barry said... it's not going to help with any already existing food shortages, either.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    USA
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    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by momof23goats View Post
    I think I would have wrapped Christmas lights, on the branches .I am not sure. I really don't know, maybe some heat lamps. here in this state we can't burn a smudge pot any more, but they work great, or burning a tire or 2 also works ,the heavy smoke keeps the frost off the trees.

    Mom,

    I have searched high and low for somebody who has a strand or two of those old Christmas lights, and I have never been able to find any. If I EVER find any that still work...


    Wouldn't burning a tire be a fire hazard?


    I live in the suburbs, and I think the Memphis Fire Department would probably arrest me or something if I did a number like that....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
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    USA
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    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Anne in TN View Post
    Barry,

    I am in Tennessee also and we have had to cover our young veggie plants with coffee cans and tea shirts over them. We have 21 plants and the rest in seeds.

    Forecast for tonight is 32 degrees; right on the nose.

    Yeah. I have row covers for the lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, spinach, strawberries and tomatoes.


    But I have never figured out how to protect my fruit trees...

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia (Central)
    Posts
    445
    Here also --- Last year I lost my peaches (blossums) to frost -- looks like its going to happen again this week. rats !!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    18,959
    many times here in michigan, I have put garbage bags, over branches, of my fruit trees, works good, and so do sheets.
    blessings to all momof23goats

  10. #10

    frost protection fruit trees

    Results 1 - 10 of about 152,000 for frost protection fruit trees. (0.33 seconds)

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  11. #11

    More

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  12. #12

    Increased Frost Protection

    http://www.befreetech.com/sonigrow.htm

    Increased Frost Protection
    If frosts are anticipated, a spray of Soni-Grow with the Sound Unit operating through the night can greatly aid frost resistance. If unable to spray Soni-Grow in time, some benefit can still be derived by operating the Sound Unit at night. The degree of frost protection offered by the sound and Nutrient program varies. Avoid running the Sound Unit 24 hours a day by switching off the unit in the morning when units have been running at night.

    One of the theories behind this frost protection is that the increased sugar levels and the rapid stimulated translocation of the Nutrient by the Sound Unit "exercises" the vine and induces production of plant sugars and alcohol. Alcohol does not freeze. Also, a healthy plant will translocate water out of the cell interiors into the intercellular spaces. Ice crystals in the intercellular spaces will not damage cell structure.

  13. #13

    high brix levels plants frost

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  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,530
    I remember last year's late frost and all that was lost.

    If it were me, I'd have on hand a good tree sprayer and some anti-dessicant spray. This will coat the tree branches and young fruit and protect them against the freeze.

  15. #15

    This product would help but a bit late now

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  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Location
    USA, Alabama
    Posts
    13,114
    We lost all our fruits last year.

    Right now, the peach and plum trees are covered with fruits, and the apple trees are in bloom. My wife and I spent a good hour last night covering all the trees with black plastic, and then it ended up only going to 36.

  17. #17
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
    1218 PM EDT TUE APR 15 2008

    ...WIDESPREAD FREEZING TEMPERATURES EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS
    THIS MORNING AND AGAIN TONIGHT...

    .ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL GRADUALLY BUILD INTO THE AREA THROUGH
    WEDNESDAY...RESULTING IN TEMPERATURES WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR MID
    APRIL. SEVERAL HOURS OF SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED
    THIS MORNING AND TONIGHT ACROSS THE NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA
    MOUNTAINS.

    GAZ017-028-029-NCZ035>037-056-057-068>072-082-502-504-506-508-
    SCZ007>014-019-152200-
    /O.UPG.KGSP.FR.Y.0002.080416T0600Z-080416T1300Z/
    /O.EXA.KGSP.FZ.W.0003.080416T0600Z-080416T1300Z/
    HABERSHAM-HART-ELBERT-ALEXANDER-IREDELL-DAVIE-CATAWBA-ROWAN-
    CLEVELAND-LINCOLN-GASTON-MECKLENBURG-CABARRUS-UNION NC-
    GREATER CALDWELL-GREATER BURKE-EASTERN MCDOWELL-
    GREATER RUTHERFORD-SPARTANBURG-CHEROKEE-YORK-ANDERSON-ABBEVILLE-
    LAURENS-UNION SC-CHESTER-GREENWOOD-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CLARKESVILLE...HARTWELL...ELBERTON...
    STATESVILLE...MOCKSVILLE...HICKORY...SALISBURY...S HELBY...
    LINCOLNTON...GASTONIA...CHARLOTTE...CONCORD...MONR OE...LENOIR...
    MORGANTON...MARION...RUTHERFORD...SPARTANBURG...GA FFNEY...
    ROCK HILL...ANDERSON...ABBEVILLE...LAURENS...UNION...CH ESTER...
    GREENWOOD
    1218 PM EDT TUE APR 15 2008

    ...FROST ADVISORY UPGRADED TO A FREEZE WARNING...IN EFFECT FROM 2
    AM TO 9 AM EDT WEDNESDAY...

    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG HAS ISSUED
    A FREEZE WARNING...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT
    WEDNESDAY. THE FROST ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT.

    LOW TEMPERATURES OF 30 T0 32 ARE EXPECTED ACROSS THE PIEDMONT AND
    MUCH OF THE FOOTHILLS OF THE WESTERN CAROLINAS AND NORTHEAST
    GEORGIA BY SUNRISE WEDNESDAY. ALTHOUGH FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE
    EXPECTED TO LAST FOR ONLY AN HOUR OR TWO...ESPECIALLY TENDER
    VEGETATION COULD BE DAMAGED.

    A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR
    HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHER
    SENSITIVE VEGETATION.

    $$


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    URGENT - WEATHER MESSAGE
    NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GREENVILLE-SPARTANBURG SC
    1218 PM EDT TUE APR 15 2008

    ...WIDESPREAD FREEZING TEMPERATURES EXPECTED IN THE MOUNTAINS
    THIS MORNING AND AGAIN TONIGHT...

    .ARCTIC HIGH PRESSURE WILL GRADUALLY BUILD INTO THE AREA THROUGH
    WEDNESDAY...RESULTING IN TEMPERATURES WELL BELOW NORMAL FOR MID
    APRIL. SEVERAL HOURS OF SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED
    THIS MORNING AND TONIGHT ACROSS THE NORTH CAROLINA AND GEORGIA
    MOUNTAINS.

    GAZ010-NCZ033-048>053-058-059-062>065-501-503-505-507-509-152200-
    /O.CON.KGSP.FZ.W.0003.080416T0600Z-080416T1300Z/
    RABUN-AVERY-MADISON-YANCEY-MITCHELL-SWAIN-HAYWOOD-BUNCOMBE-GRAHAM-
    NORTHERN JACKSON-MACON-SOUTHERN JACKSON-TRANSYLVANIA-HENDERSON-
    CALDWELL MOUNTAINS-BURKE MOUNTAINS-MCDOWELL MOUNTAINS-
    RUTHERFORD MOUNTAINS-POLK MOUNTAINS-
    INCLUDING THE CITIES OF...CLAYTON...NEWLAND...SPRUCE PINE...
    CHEROKEE...WAYNESVILLE...ASHEVILLE...SYLVA...FRANK LIN...BREVARD...
    HENDERSONVILLE...LAKE LURE
    1218 PM EDT TUE APR 15 2008

    ...FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT
    WEDNESDAY...

    A FREEZE WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 2 AM TO 9 AM EDT
    WEDNESDAY.

    A HARD FREEZE IS EXPECTED TONIGHT ACROSS THE MOUNTAINS OF NORTH
    CAROLINA. TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO REACH FREEZING ACROSS THE
    MOUNTAINS BY 2 AM. TEMPERATURES WILL CONTINUE TO FALL DURING THE
    PRE-DAWN HOURS...REACHING A LOW IN THE MID 20S ACROSS MUCH OF THE
    AREA BY SUNRISE.

    A FREEZE WARNING MEANS SUB-FREEZING TEMPERATURES ARE IMMINENT OR
    HIGHLY LIKELY. THESE CONDITIONS WILL KILL CROPS AND OTHER
    SENSITIVE VEGETATION.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Arkansas Ozarks
    Posts
    2,169
    Well, we had a freeze (26deg.) and heavy frost this a.m. here in North Arkansas. I figure our peach, apple and plum trees will be bare of fruit again this year! Man oh man.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    bol
    Posts
    3,471
    It only got to 31 here (NW TN) last night with a light breeze (whew!) so that kept the frost off the peach trees anyways. So far today they look good, but it will take a couple of days for any real damage to show up on the small fruit. So far no signs of wilt or burn on the leaves though...keeping my fingers crossed and saying a prayer!

    She

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    11,948

    26 degrees? ow. That's a cold snap

    Darn! most of the preventative measures are only good for around 3 degrees improvement. Will be interested to hear what is saved and how.

    I used to get up in the very early morning, before sunrise and hose the frost off tender citrus plants, when I lived where you could grow them, marginally. For some reason, if you melt the ice before the sun gets to it, the damage is minimized. Don't know if it would help fruit/flowers, though.

    Do Christmas lights strung on a small tree under sheets help? Every once in awhile we see buckets of older Christmas light strings at garage sales, etc. (evil, soon to be illegal, incandescent bulbs which give off a bit of heat).

    Does the light all night confuse the plants/alter their time sense? Some plants change their life cycle if daylight is extended even one day, others don't seem to care. I can only recall some onions, poinsetta and Christmas cactus as altering their behavior from light changes, nothing about fruit trees. But how often do you turn the lights on all night in an apple tree?

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    West Virginia
    Posts
    33,616
    I hope you folks pulled threw it OK. With the news we are getting we need all the food we can come up with. The last two nights it looked as if we were going to get a frost here so far so good. Two nights ago someone was nocking at the back door! It was the house plants wanting to come inside.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,530
    Since the seasons seem to be changing all over would it be possible to plant varieties that bloom and put on fruit later in the season ??

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    1,141
    I am so glad I read this thread. Earlier, our forecast was for 29 degrees, which the blueberries can handle (with about a 10% loss), but they cannot handle the 26 degrees now forecasted. Just ran down and covered them all (in full bloom, of course) with burlap and we will be praying tonight. I guess we'll lose the cherries again this year. I just ordered and planted some blueberries that bloom a bit later in hopes that we can create a backup crop in the future.

    This just makes me sick to my stomach - last year was so devastating and now here we go again.... my strawberries are in full bloom and even making berries (its been in the high seventies quite a bit lately). I covered them with row covers, so we'll see.

    garnetgirl

  24. #24
    Barry, you can get the large old style Christmas lights at Hobby Lobby and at Walmart at Christmas time. They carry the C7 and the C9 size.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Western North Carolina
    Posts
    1,141
    Good news here this morning. Temperatures at the station only fell to 30 degrees so far and outside of my kitchen door, it's 34 degrees. Maybe we will be okay. Praise God!

    garnetgirl

  26. #26
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,530
    most of the preventative measures are only good for around 3 degrees improvement.
    Almost ready is correct with the above quote. No matter what you do it will only protect your crop for a few degrees below freezing. Unless you can generate heat around your trees they will freeze. I believe professional growers have some kind of heater system set up to blow warm air up and around the trees when late freezes present themselves.

    Our fruit trees here in mid Michigan have not yet had their buds open up yet let alone put on blossoms or fruit. We've done our first spray of dormant oil to smother over wintering eggs of insects. We're still learning how to take care of them. We got our apple trees pruned heavily. It's all a learning experience. I have ten more apple trees ordered along with 5 hazlenut trees. I got varieties that actually prefer a very cold climate down as far as zone 3. They should love it here.

    Let us know how your trees and crops made out last night and which method worked the best for you.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    MT Rocky Topo
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    4,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Loon View Post
    Almost ready is correct with the above quote. No matter what you do it will only protect your crop for a few degrees below freezing. Unless you can generate heat around your trees they will freeze. I believe professional growers have some kind of heater system set up to blow warm air up and around the trees when late freezes present themselves.

    Our fruit trees here in mid Michigan have not yet had their buds open up yet let alone put on blossoms or fruit. We've done our first spray of dormant oil to smother over wintering eggs of insects. We're still learning how to take care of them. We got our apple trees pruned heavily. It's all a learning experience. I have ten more apple trees ordered along with 5 hazlenut trees. I got varieties that actually prefer a very cold climate down as far as zone 3. They should love it here.

    Let us know how your trees and crops made out last night and which method worked the best for you.
    St. Lawrence Nurseries?

  28. #28
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,530
    I'm not familiar with St. Lawrence Nurseries. I ordered my trees from my local Arenac County Conservation Dept. They have a sale each spring. I was lucky they are this year selling the Honeycrisp apples I wanted so much. I ordered five of them. I also ordered another fairly new variety called Zestar. I've had very good luck with the plants and trees I've ordered from them. I'm not sure who their supplier is. They only sell plants hardy to our area though. There are few suppliers of the Honeycrisp apples since they are new and probably still under patent. There is a grower here in Michigan (forget the name) who sells only to big nurseries so I'm wondering if our conservation dept. didn't get the trees from them ?? I'll ask when I go pick them up at the end of this month.

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    SW Land Mass
    Posts
    10,794
    An old trick I've heard of and read of before is to go out before daylight (like between the time the sky lightens and when the sun actually hits the tree or bush) and spray it down with the water hose; just a heavy mist.

    The guy who used to be our nightwatchman here at the plant used to do that to his plum trees early in the morning when there was a frost and there were years when he was the only person I knew whose trees made good plums that year.

    [i]Yes Virginia, the Russians are[/i] [b]STILL[/b] [i]the bad guys.[/i]

    [URL=http://www.jrnyquist.com]J.R. Nyquist[/URL] - [URL=http://thefinalphaseforum.invisionzone.com/index.php?showforum=3]TFP Forum[/URL]

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    MT Rocky Topo
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    4,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Loon View Post
    I'm not familiar with St. Lawrence Nurseries. I ordered my trees from my local Arenac County Conservation Dept. They have a sale each spring. I was lucky they are this year selling the Honeycrisp apples I wanted so much. I ordered five of them. I also ordered another fairly new variety called Zestar. I've had very good luck with the plants and trees I've ordered from them. I'm not sure who their supplier is. They only sell plants hardy to our area though. There are few suppliers of the Honeycrisp apples since they are new and probably still under patent. There is a grower here in Michigan (forget the name) who sells only to big nurseries so I'm wondering if our conservation dept. didn't get the trees from them ?? I'll ask when I go pick them up at the end of this month.
    Check them out - especially the apple varieties. You might want to be sitting down...

    http://www.sln.potsdam.ny.us/

  31. #31
    One thing to note about their trees... they don't sell any dwarf or semi dwarf varieties (at least in the apples I looked at briefly).

    If you've got tons of room and the ability to climb ladders to manage your orchard that's fine (and as they note, dwarfing rootstock can be a problem in the *extreme* cold areas)

    For most folks, full size trees won't fit their available land.

    We have tons of land, but choose semi dwarf trees because they are much easier to manage. But we're in zone 5-6, not 3 or 4.

    Summerthyme

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    11,409
    Quote Originally Posted by Glowy SC View Post
    Barry, you can get the large old style Christmas lights at Hobby Lobby and at Walmart at Christmas time. They carry the C7 and the C9 size.

    It;s not the size nor style that matters.


    They have changed how they make the light bulbs over the years, and now they don't get hot like they used to.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    9,530
    Why can't you hook up a strand of those gutter warmers they sell to prevent gutters from icing up? I think they sell heater cable for wrapping plumbing pipes with too so they don't freeze in winter.

  34. #34
    Cover smaller trees with blooms using drop sheeting like you'd use for painting. Easy to use, readily available, and cheap. You can also use empty cans with kerosene beneath the plastic to provide some heat. Kerosene will burn without a fuse, or you can put it in tiki lights and set them under the plastic.
    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

  35. #35
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    1984
    Posts
    23,289
    Quote Originally Posted by bad_karma00 View Post
    Cover smaller trees with blooms using drop sheeting like you'd use for painting. Easy to use, readily available, and cheap. You can also use empty cans with kerosene beneath the plastic to provide some heat. Kerosene will burn without a fuse, or you can put it in tiki lights and set them under the plastic.
    Ummm, Barry's post was from April 14th 2008. Not too many blooms in mid February.
    shōu xnyngkă ma?

  36. #36
    I saw that long after I posted. I don't even know how I got on it, but it had to be on main, since that's the only page I've looked at today. But if it can happen, it will happen to me
    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    1984
    Posts
    23,289
    Hope the TB2K database is OK!

    I've got a 6ft Dwarf lemon tree in a 30 gal pot that I use your technique with,
    gets a few more months of "outside living" that way.
    shōu xnyngkă ma?

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by Possible Impact View Post
    Hope the TB2K database is OK!

    I've got a 6ft Dwarf lemon tree in a 30 gal pot that I use your technique with,
    gets a few more months of "outside living" that way.
    That's one reason I decided not to delete it. I figured if it helped just one person, then it was time well typed, so to speak I learned that from my mom, who grew up farming. We don't need it too often, but it's saved apples and peaches in many a late freeze.
    Follow me to http://badkarma00.wordpress.com/ for all my craziness
    So say we all. . . .
    "If you value your lives, be somewhere else." Ambassador Delenn.

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