Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby just_browsing » Feb 12th, 2021, 7:47 am

Ok, I can see the rationale behind drying the cherries but tell me the science behind helicopters blowing -20 air around cherry trees? Does it make sure that they get destroyed for insurance purposes?

An insanely disruptive strategy during the summer months is now all year round?

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby Anonymous123 » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:11 am

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby TRIX » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:17 am

If you drive around the valley, especially in soft fruit growing areas you will find the remnants of large fans in these most long gone orchards. The purpose was air movement. Summer and winter. Extreme cold at the wrong time is a detrimental as extreme heat or rain at the wrong time. I would think these choppers are trying to warm the orchard by bringing warmer ground temps into the cold overnight air temps in an effort to increase the orchard temp just enough to mitigate the harm to the new buds being formed on the branches. This action is the same action that the large fans would have performed if still in use. Unfortunately for the orchardists, because of encroachment by the residential community they have to put up with these types of complaints when it is a normal function of operating their farm which has had ALR status for decades.

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby TRIX » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:17 am

*removed*
Last edited by ferri on Feb 12th, 2021, 8:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Double post
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby seewood » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:23 am

I have seen citrus trees in Florida covered in ice. The farmers turned on their irrigation to coat the trees in ice to protect them from the real cold temps that damage the trees and fruit. Ice does not get much colder than -2 or 3 C, I believe, protecting whatever is inside from -20c or whatever temps.

I'm thinking because the irrigation is turned off, farmers cannot do the same here. Weird thinking blowing -20 air around will save the cherry trees. Currently it's not like there are threats of frost and one can move the cold air with warmer air.
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby GordonH » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:32 am

Usually there is a layer of snow to insulate the ground from possible deep freezing of the ground around orchards.

Added later: up until this cold snap hit we were in early Spring Time temperatures.
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby just_browsing » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:56 am

TRIX wrote:If you drive around the valley, especially in soft fruit growing areas you will find the remnants of large fans in these most long gone orchards. The purpose was air movement. Summer and winter. Extreme cold at the wrong time is a detrimental as extreme heat or rain at the wrong time. I would think these choppers are trying to warm the orchard by bringing warmer ground temps into the cold overnight air temps in an effort to increase the orchard temp just enough to mitigate the harm to the new buds being formed on the branches. This action is the same action that the large fans would have performed if still in use. Unfortunately for the orchardists, because of encroachment by the residential community they have to put up with these types of complaints when it is a normal function of operating their farm which has had ALR status for decades.


Thanks for the lesson! I feel like the ground temps are close to -20 when the air temps are -20 though, or close to it, and this would be useless or more damaging. It's funny that nothing pops up in a google search either...unless it's for "frost" protection.

By the way, born and raised here among way more orchards than you see now, and never once did they used choppers to dry their cherries until this past decade. In fact I've been here longer than most of the orchardists in the okanagan.

It must be the fact that they have planted high risk varieties when the okanagan can only typically support cold weather varieties?

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby GordonH » Feb 12th, 2021, 9:11 am

TRIX wrote:If you drive around the valley, especially in soft fruit growing areas you will find the remnants of large fans in these most long gone orchards. The purpose was air movement. Summer and winter. Extreme cold at the wrong time is a detrimental as extreme heat or rain at the wrong time. I would think these choppers are trying to warm the orchard by bringing warmer ground temps into the cold overnight air temps in an effort to increase the orchard temp just enough to mitigate the harm to the new buds being formed on the branches. This action is the same action that the large fans would have performed if still in use. Unfortunately for the orchardists, because of encroachment by the residential community they have to put up with these types of complaints when it is a normal function of operating their farm which has had ALR status for decades.


Of course developers build right up next to alr farming lands (no different then building right up to an airport).
New residents can’t stand either the noise or smell etc... so they start to :cuss: and complain.

Guess what folks, before buying how about checking out who or what is in your potential new neighbourhood i.e active farm, gun range, airport etc... etc
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby LANDM » Feb 12th, 2021, 9:40 am

TRIX wrote:If you drive around the valley, especially in soft fruit growing areas you will find the remnants of large fans in these most long gone orchards. The purpose was air movement. Summer and winter. Extreme cold at the wrong time is a detrimental as extreme heat or rain at the wrong time. I would think these choppers are trying to warm the orchard by bringing warmer ground temps into the cold overnight air temps in an effort to increase the orchard temp just enough to mitigate the harm to the new buds being formed on the branches. This action is the same action that the large fans would have performed if still in use. Unfortunately for the orchardists, because of encroachment by the residential community they have to put up with these types of complaints when it is a normal function of operating their farm which has had ALR status for decades.


You are sort-of correct. They are not bringing warmer ground temperatures, they are mixing the different air temperatures that occur as the colder air "settles" near the ground.
The most advanced cherry growers will have both wind machines, which will turn on and cause air flow (sounding like huge choppers with slower fan speed), and supplement with choppers to increase the air flow. The buds can be damaged, lowering the crop potential. Adding to this the lack of snow cover, there is a risk of further tree damage if the temperatures get much lower.
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby Taranis1964 » Feb 12th, 2021, 10:04 am

Have a large cherry orchard behind my house. Choppers were out just before 7am - 2nd time this week. Doesn't bother us and we knew what to expect when we bought the property. We know it's part of their business and ensuring the survival of the crop. Years ago our kids would go out on the deck and wave to the pilots when they flew over after summer rain storms.

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby Ken7 » Feb 12th, 2021, 11:01 am

seewood wrote:I have seen citrus trees in Florida covered in ice. The farmers turned on their irrigation to coat the trees in ice to protect them from the real cold temps that damage the trees and fruit. Ice does not get much colder than -2 or 3 C, I believe, protecting whatever is inside from -20c or whatever temps.

I'm thinking because the irrigation is turned off, farmers cannot do the same here. Weird thinking blowing -20 air around will save the cherry trees. Currently it's not like there are threats of frost and one can move the cold air with warmer air.


I'm a little stuck on the theory here. If it is ice covered, it will still follow the temperature other wise how could you get 2 feet of ice on a lake?

There is more to the icing of trees, if it was intentional.

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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby Symbonite » Feb 12th, 2021, 11:19 am

hmm never heard of this before....

Most logical..

They are doing training hours.
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby 60-YEARS-in-Ktown » Feb 12th, 2021, 11:35 am

We didn't have as many choppers here a few decades ago, probably had just not gotten tried out yet... and yes they had losses.
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby Ken7 » Feb 12th, 2021, 12:17 pm

60-YEARS-in-Ktown wrote:We didn't have as many choppers here a few decades ago, probably had just not gotten tried out yet... and yes they had losses.


Could the air flow stop the frost bite, as some mornings we have frost on our windshield. Other days very cold, sub-zero no frost. Not sure just a thought...
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Re: Cherry Orchard Choppers in -20?

Postby mexi cali » Feb 12th, 2021, 12:47 pm

The air flow keeps the frost from settling. Air in motion even cold air, will do far less damage than static air. I f hard frost, like what we have had over the past few days settles on the buds, it could be very bad indeed.
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