Would a high powered fan prevent FROST?

royalpaulm(Cen Fla 10a)February 18, 2009

My coconut palm was damaged by a nasty frost earlier this season. Going forward, do you think an industrial size fan could prevent the formation of frost on those rare events? Just something powerful enough to blow the fronds around as to simulate wind when there isn't any.

Here is a photo taken a couple days ago...the frost beat it up some but the nuts continue to thrive. Also the trunk has about doubled in size since planted last March!


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stanofh

Should help. I know I have heard of Helicopters brought in to dry stadium fields soaked by rain. As for frost..not sure. Moving air,like smoke or smudge pots must lower the frost formation threshold. Put a fine spray of water in front of the fan..better. At the least make sure the plant isnt dry stressed.
Would all that really beat several layers of frost cloth tossed over the plant with a spot light placed underneath?

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 6:54PM
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royalpaulm(Cen Fla 10a)

It'd beat it in the sense of of being a simple solution. The palm is getting too big to cover.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2009 at 7:43PM
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dbrya1

In the early 60's growing up,I worked in the peach orchards here in Kansas,and in late March when the peach trees were in bloom and a frost was predicted,we took 55 gal drums cut in half and burnt tires in them in the rows of peach trees to keep the frost from freezing the blooms and loosing the chance
of fruiting.Probably against the law now with all the smoke they put out!!!!
Not really sure if it was the smoke that kept the frost from the blooms as the drums were 15 feet away from the trees,but it was enough heat to work.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 1:06AM
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stanofh

I understand the size problem.Its appears with a regular ladder you could still,etc. But as it get beyond that a big fan or two would be fast and easy. How about the Tiki torch approach? Be carefull not to ignite any palm fronds of course,but as it gets a bit taller,short torches shouldnt do anything but make warm air.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 12:49PM
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jimhardy

I wonder if your not just pushing more cold air(wind chill) past the fronds?The helicopters are used to move slightly warmer air down from above the trees which helps inhibit frost formation

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 4:02PM
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softmentor(z9/sunset13 CA desert)

I don't think so. Unless there is warm air to move, it would not help.
and burning tires is a huge no-no.
Flooding under the palm with warm water from a hose can help. Lights or check out my other posts of frost candles.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 5:05PM
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royalpaulm(Cen Fla 10a)

I might just try tiki torches next year(this cold season should be over). Those provide radiant heat so may be okay for a light frost...like the one at 42f that damaged my palm.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 9:25PM
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jimhardy

The only thing I can say would work with the size of that palm is to make a tube around it with fencing or what ever use blankets or something that would provide some insulation and use spot lights or a few strands of x-mas lights like c-7,it would definitely keep it nice and warm,big job for a palm that size.
The helicopter thing is commonly done in orange groves as the coldest air sits at gound level and blades that size can move alot of air down and push the cold aside temperarily,not really practicle for a home owner-

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 1:54AM
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royalpaulm(Cen Fla 10a)

Thanks everyone. I'm just looking for something simple during a light frost. With a hard freeze I'd no doubt cover the palm in blankets and Xmas lights. Does light stop frost ? Like a powerful halogen spotlight?

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 10:35PM
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jimhardy

Its the cover that would inhibit frost formation and of course added warmth,frost on leaves acts as a catalyst to enhance freezing of leaf tissue

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 12:32AM
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wilmington_islander(9A/Sunset 28)

Th fan most certainly will work to prevent frost...I've done it myself a few times on passionfruit. Try it next time and you'll see for yourself.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:26AM
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stanofh

The fan would be good to 30f. I would wonder if it dips into 27-29 that more direct action-heat- would then take over. Now if it's a frost and not freeze,and he's only concerned about one plant,the fan sounds like a neat idea since H.D. sells them for a decent price.And a fan could be attached to those cheap timers instead of blasting away all night long.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:01PM
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royalpaulm(Cen Fla 10a)

I'm more concerned with low 40s and high 30s than a freeze as the frost is more common. A freeze would undoubtedly call for layered protection but for a light frost I just want something low key and relatively simple.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 11:59PM
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fagannutsy(North New Jersey)

Just a quick comment.......alright its more than a quick comment,

Living in NJ I deal with frost a few times a year, you do not want the frost to sit on the leaves,this causes the damage.

I water the plants to saturate the soil, alot of water will take more to freeze.

Second I cover the plants with bedsheets, this will keep the frost off the leaves and stops the damage to the plant.

Doing this allows me to widen the outside season.
-Rusty

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 1:15PM
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