ice cream covers oranges the were sprayed v water throughout an overnight freeze in Apopka, Fla., Jan. 7, 2010. The trees are sprayed through water throughout the night and also into the beforehand morning hours to insulate them native freezing. man Raoux -- connected Press

A The current cold snap across the countrygarnered a the majority of news attention. As seems to occur every winter,this coverage was capped in at an early stage January v a snapshot of Floridaoranges encased in icicles.

You are watching: Why does spraying fruit trees with water before a frost help protect the fruit from freezing?


When arctic air reaches Florida, farmers may spray your cropswith water to keep them indigenous cooling to the temperature the the coldair. This seems counterintuitive, however the energy linked withthe phase readjust of water renders it precisely the right thing todo.


Water exist in our setting in 3 phases; solid (ice),liquid (water), and also gas (water vapor). Once water changes phasefrom one kind to another, energy is involved. When the adjust isfrom a low energy state (like ice) come a greater energy state (likeliquid or gas), energy is required to accomplish the change.


A usual example is the evaporation that a pond of water. Energyfrom the sunlight on a clear morning after ~ a rain is provided to adjust thewater native its original liquid state to the invisible gaseousstate. As soon as the change is from a high energy state (liquid) come alower energy state (ice), power is released to theenvironment.

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So when the citrus farmer sprays fluid water top top her chop inanticipation of an overnight freeze, she is taking benefit of thefact that as soon as that liquid water freezes, the procedure will releaseenergy (in the kind of heat) come the fruit, therefore preserving itagainst the ravages of the cold.


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