The fact is that every spring some of us will have our trees frosted and may not have a single bloom survive. I know that there are ways to protect the sensitive buds with light bulbs and tarps but is there any thing that can be done to hold back the bloom in the first place? Does planting up against a north side of a building have any affect for instance?
In a dry climate evaporative cooling works. Spray the trees every 5-10 minutes with water whenever temp is above 45F. Obviously that means an automated system, lots of water, and good soil drainage.
Great topic. Hope someone has figured it out. Bill
That year we had the very warm spring my trees i know were still sitting in frozen ground and the things were starting to bloom. It was all because of air temps. My guess is anything to cool the branches/buds would help. Always worried when we get warm temps early. Never good. Another reason that having a deep snowcover can help a ton because it retards that warmth from every gaining hold early on.
Maybe have 5 gallon buckets of frozen ice chunks ready to roll out on that 80F early spring day? I know i could make an unlimited supply next week with temps dropping into the -10’s or so.
I have a spot on an inside corner of my house that would have a wall to the east and another to the north. The ground is shaded from the early spring sun and should be slower to warm up. I don’t know if the ground or air temp is more responsible for the bloom date.
Sorry, I was typing below at the same time you were posting your response. So it sounds like it is the air temp.
Actually it’s neither. It’s the temperature of the buds. That’s more related to air temp than soil. But on a warm sunny day with light winds buds can heat up considerably above air temp. That’s where water can cool them off esp if dew point is low.
I wonder if you could do something like when you try to keep heat off of a graft. Maybe it is silly, could you cool just a few places on the branches containing buds, wrap them in damp sphagnum and aluminum foil?
Just shading the whole tree would do about as well as al foil. And it’s practical. Moist only helps if the water is evaporating. Evaporating water sucks away a lot of heat, that’s why we sweat.
I think it might be pretty humid here on warm spring days but I guess I don’t really know the exact numbers. Usually the dry air is cold fronts from the north and the warm air comes up from the gulf. Interesting thread at any rate, thanks for all of the in put.
Ground water temperature here is about 54 degrees so a constant spray of water at that temperature should keep the buds at 54 or lower.