Protecting trees from frost damage

I broke down and decided to try and cover my smallest peach tree and the old top worked pear. I would like to see how others do it , maybe I will learn something.



That looked good. Just hope for no winds.


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Jason, what kind of Lights did you use. I posted a night pic of my setup in the other thread. I had 3 metal poles and drove them into the ground around the tree. I then draped a tarp over and around the tree but I extended mine down to the ground. I used snow to stack up against the bottom of the tarps. I used a 60w incandescent bulb. I have more interior space to heat since I draped my tarp to the ground. No clue if it will work. Especially considering we are supposed to reach 16 for 3 consecutive nights.

It is just a little breeze right now. On the peach I was able to pull the tarp in at the bottom to hold the heat in better. I have a 75 watt bulb in it. The pear was harder to cover, I have one of those super bright work lights. It puts out a lot of heat.


Mine is on a 4 ft tall nectarine that is multi grafted with other nects and a few apricots. Last weekend, it went down to 5F a couple of nights so I attempted to cover it but the wind was 30-40 mph. I thought most buds did not look good after that.

Tonight it would go down to 9 F, then 5 F tomorrow night and 9 F Sun night. I don’t have much hope. But the wind would be only 15-20 mph tonight so I covered it, just for the heck of it.

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It is the brightest thing in the neighborhhod tonight. Neighbors probably think I take craziness to the next step :joy:


Sounds like some of you folks who face this every year may benefit from a couple of these.

70,000 BTU would be enough for a 20x30ft shelter if pretty air tight.

My covers go to the ground. It takes a big tarp for a small tree. But if tightly covered mine work every time with 60 to 750 watts depending on size and temperatures…


My problem is that I was not prepared and did not have the right materials or equipment. I consider this a dry- run.

That’s always my problem too. I always think to myself I’ll get it later but when the time comes I’m not prepared.

I’m a little worried about wind. Doesn’t seem like much air is moving but if it does kick up in the middle of the night not only could the tarp get blown it could uproot the tree.

The strongest wind was last week. My impromptu covering caused quite a damage (broken branches, strings rubbing of tons of buds I tried to save) .

Not sure why I even bother with the covering. Usinf a Blowtorch like @scottfsmith does sounds a lot more fun :grin:

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That looks like someone is doing some Winter camping. Brady


I think my set-up has entertained the neighborhood kids. At least, it is good for something, right?

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So I’ve had my tree tarped since Friday evening. I’ve not turned the light off. Today it will reach 32 as a high and tomorrow 42. But the nights will still be in the teens all week long. Should I just let the light run all week? Even when it’s 42? Or should I turn it off during the day time?

I turned mine off today as soon as it got above freezing. I did turn mine on early last night to give it a couple of hours to build up heat before the temperature dropped. I’m no expert, I have just been covering tress for a couple of years.

I abandoned my covering when I found out yesterday that in very windy situation (30+ mph), I did more damage than what it’s worth. Tarp and strings tangled and broke my apricot graft clean off and wiped out many clusters of buds while they were twisting in the wind.

I wish I had not covered to safe the graft. Oh, well. Live and learn.

For those who’ve covered trees and kept lights on, how much of an increase in temps do you get compared with the ambient temp? I know it will vary depending on how much heat is being produced by the lights (or other heat source) but I’m just curious about the range of increases that are possible.

I do that know to be honest. I didn’t have a thermometer handy to check. I’m basically pissing in the wind.

I’ve measured 10-20F increase if the cover is pretty air tight and heat source adequate. I’ve also seen nearly none if not properly covered. It takes a very big tarp to cover a small tree. At least much bigger than one would think when looking at tarp or tree by themselves.

If someone really wanted to do it right plant a small orchard of closely spaced trees. Build a shelter around and over that. Keep the sides covered during freeze season. Then pull a tarp over the top and tie it down good during the cold event. That 20x20ft tarp that would barely cover one 6x6ft tree now covers nine 6x6ft trees.


This is the approach I was thinking of trying once I have too many trees to practically move back and forth to the garage during threats of freeze.

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