Freeze Fail: Sprinkler

I give up. These trees can’t handle 16 more hours of this.:frowning: . Maybe you can learn from my mistake. 25 mph winds cause the water to freeze instantly on contact, building up way too much ice. With a predicted low of 18, this effort appears futile. Also a 150 ft 3/4 in hose can only drive two sprinklers. You would need a high pressure irrigation pump and piping to drive enough sprinklers for more than a few trees. The silver lining is that only half of my peaches and plums are in danger tonight. Hopefully this is the last event for the season.


I tried this last year, but the freeze was 2 nights in a row. The hose froze solid the second night, so I don’t even know if it would have worked.

It seems like this would be way easier than trying to cover the trees, IF it works.

1 Like


Sometimes there is no winning possible. What stage are your buds in? You never know for sure I’ve seen ice and snow insulate my blooms as well.

The three stone fruit trees that had lots of blooms got a real good thinning, but looks like they all had enough tight buds to give me fruit. My Moonglow pear got hit pretty hard. I will know more at the end of the week. The thick layer of ice did nothing to protect at 20f compared to my non protected trees. The worst part about the pear will be the vigorous growth since there will be no fruit to control its size and bend branches.

Isn’t that what you want? Tree protected with ice? Locks in the warm temp under the ice? I’m confused? I guess the ice is too thick for the tree.

Ackshually, I think the ice doesn’t insulate the branches but, as it forms, it gives up heat, keeping the branches at freezing until it solidifies. After that, the ice and branches get colder. To keep the branches at freezing requires adding more and more water while the temps are below freezing. The temperature of the water doesn’t matter much. It’s the state change from fluid to solid that yields the most heat.

Bummer. But it looks cool.

The sprinkler turned out to be a major fail. The trees that I didn’t ice had about 50% pre bloom loss. The ice trees had 99.9% prebloom loss. My hypothesis is the ice trees stayed colder longer, after the sun came out killing more buds. Ugh.

I know some of the state extensions have descriptions of this, and some commercial growers mention it, but I never found any real details on what temps it works on. I suspect this only helps for a few degrees below critical temps and not for all that long.