Getting ready for the barrel burn all nighter

Expecting a low of 22-23° tonight, picked me up some barrels from a seller on Craigslist today with puncture holes for circulation. I have not tried this method for generating heat before but have an unlimited supply of wood in my yard so I figured I would give it a try. Hopefully my loss of sleep will be rewarded this summer, we shall see.


Will the wind be on your side?

Just a thought…tomorrow night (at least on the models) looks colder???

Your right warm, if the wood burning seems to work tonight and I can get motivated to stay up again then I will do it again tomorrow night.


I have three bad ones in a row coming, 19-19-20. Will do a little warming up tomorrow early.

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It will be a long cold night. It is already 28. I’ll plug in a couple of space heaters and try to get a 1-2 hours nap. Then, I’ll be burning charcoal in two grills. I believe the charcoal will provide more warmth. It will be 26 at midnight and 23 by 6 am. Should be 33 tomorrow night.


That’s pretty hard core. Good luck keeping your trees warm!


I have an 100 yr old apple book that talks about burning pots of oil to heat an orchard. I wonder if you could get a space heater going under a plastic tent or use some torpedo heaters. Taking extra measures is one thing, several nights of sleep deprivation is another.


I put up two tree covers with 100 watt lights for heat. We’ll see if it works. We will have a low of 23.


23 right now. Space heaters are no good without covering the trees. Charcoal seems to be working well. At least, it is keeping me warm :slight_smile: I do not have to go to work early tomorrow. Plan is to stop when temperature warms to 29.

@Chris_in_GA and @andrew_SWMO and others, I hope you made it better through the night than I did. I got up at 3:30 to check on my little set up and just as I feared, the wind blew all my seams apart on my covers so all I have is a little roof left and a little heater down on the ground doing its best, but there is no way that little heater can increase the temp around my tree with it being open and windy like that.

What kills me is that apparently my town is the coldest in 50 miles EITHER DIRECTION!!! I get that it is 4 degrees warmer than an hour south of me- that’s common. What I can’t get is how its also 4 degrees warmer than me 50 miles NORTH of me!!! The area I live in isn’t higher elevation, by a lake, or anything else I can think of that would make it colder. Anyway, its now 21 degrees here so I’m sure its a total loss. Oh well.

hope others did better.


How did things go for you last night @Chris_in_GA? It looks like my yard was a few degrees warmer than predicted, at least in the protected areas. I have all of my containers in the garage for the next few days just in case though. Tonight is supposed to be colder anyway.

That’s dedication!

The burn barrels were working but I burning poplar and had to refill the barrels every hour. Could not drag myself out of bed to do the 4am reload after working all day. I might have saved a few blooms but same forecast for tonight and another month before the late freeze threat is over. Starting off to be a rough year for growing fruit.

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I also didn’t do too well with my flamer, the very strong wind made it hard to warm things up properly. Probably not worth the effort. I noticed a few new things were already getting fried when I was out this morning. We are having two more similar nights and I don’t think I will bother trying anything given the low is forecast to be the same as this last one (20F).

That sucks Chris. Im in the same boat and not real happy at the moment. I commend you on the burning. Hopefully through the grace of god you get sone fruit this year.

When I was young I remember in the California Central Valley the farmers would
set up smudge pots and burn in those.
Because they would also produce pollution they may be banned now, but here’s the

Good luck!

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That looks like what diamond core drillers use here and call them salamanders.

How did your experiment work Chris? Looks like we lost our plums and blueberries but my nectaplum and peaches appear unscathed.

Where are you located @Mickster? It looks like some of the buds on my blueberries got frozen out but many weren’t quite as developed and seem to have made it. I should still have some blueberries this year if we don’t get another hard freeze.