Vol 124 (2011): Proceedings of the Florida State Horticultural Society

Air Temperatures within a Florida Citrus Grove Using Microsprinkler Irrigation for Cold Protection

Chris Oswalt
University of Florida, IFAS, Polk County Cooperative Extension Service, P.O. Box 9005, Drawer HS03, Bartow, FL 33831
Ryan Atwood
KeyPlex, P.O. Box 203, Tangerine, FL 32777
Timothy Spann
University of Florida, IFAS, Citrus Research and Education Center, 700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850
Published December 1, 2011
  • Citrus sinensis,
  • freeze,
  • microclimate


Microsprinkler irrigation is used extensively in Florida citrus groves as a method to protect mature and young trees from freezing temperatures. Historically studies have documented the effectiveness of this cold protection methodology to protect young citrus trees from freeze damage. However, limited information exists on the effectiveness of under-tree microsprinkler irrigation for freeze protection of mature citrus trees. This project documents the effect of under-tree microsprinkler irrigation for freeze protection during the freeze of 13 Dec. through 16 Dec. 2010 in a central Florida citrus grove. Under advective freeze conditions with microsprinkler irrigation, air temperatures were similar within the grove, within the citrus tree canopy, and outside the grove. During radiation freeze, conditions with microsprinkler irrigation air temperatures within the citrus tree canopy were up to 4 °F warmer than those outside the grove.