How to Spray Fruit Trees to Prevent Freezing


Two types of freezing frosts exist: advective and radiation. Advective frost comes from windy conditions that produce a cold wind front, while radiation frost occurs as the temperature drops under clear skies. Freezing frost destroys fruit trees when it comes in quickly. Many farmers, around the time of the first frost, spray their trees to protect them from freezing temperatures. Spraying heated water onto a tree releases the heat in the water into the tree as it freezes, protecting the tree from damage.

Step 1

Attach micro-sprinkler heads to your existing irrigation system. Micro-sprinklers deliver water through small sprinkler heads, making the application of water on the tree more precise. Attach the micro-sprinklers to your irrigation system yourself using the instructions on the packaging, or have a professional attach them for you.

Step 2

Place the micro-sprinkler one yard away from the tree.

Step 3

Spray the trunk of young trees using a 90-degree spraying pattern, applying 10 to 15 gallons per hour.

Step 4

Place the sprinkler head at the top of a distribution line (a pipe that supplies water) and point the micro- sprinkler head down for mature trees, suggests the University of Florida Extension. This sprays water down the leaves and blossoms and prevents extensive damage. Some limbs will break due to ice weight, but this is unavoidable.

Things You'll Need

  • Microsprinkler system
  • Irrigation system


  • University of Florida Extension: Your Florida Dooryard Citrus Guide
  • Cornell Cooperative Extension: Understanding Frost
  • North Dakota State University: Introduction to Micro Irrigation
Keywords: spray fruit tree, fruit frost prevention, fruit freezing prevention

About this Author

Cleveland Van Cecil is a freelancer writer specializing in technology. He has been a freelance writer for three years and has published extensively on, writing articles on subjects as diverse as boat motors and hydroponic gardening. Van Cecil has a Bachelor of Arts in liberal arts from Baldwin-Wallace College.