Irrigation Expected to Save Georgia Trees from Freeze

Ernie Nefffreeze


Lindy Savelle said her south Georgia grove looked like “a sea of iceballs” as a result of running microsprinklers for five days.

Most Georgia citrus growers believe microsprinkler irrigation will save their trees from a multi-day freeze that saw temperatures dip into the low 20s Friday morning, said Georgia Citrus Association President Lindy Savelle.

“I think we’re going to do fine,” said Savelle, who ran microsprinklers virtually round-the-clock in her south Georgia grove because temperatures never got above 40 for five days or more. “I am very, very pleased.” Savelle said temperatures dipped to 23 in her grove Friday morning.

Most Georgia citrus is Satsumas grown for the fresh market, and most were harvested prior to the freeze, Savelle reported.

Savelle said five or more days of freezing temperatures, like that experienced this week, “was an unusual weather event” for south Georgia.

Florida Citrus Mutual reported the coldest temperatures in the Florida Citrus Belt were in the high 20s, and that no significant damage is expected.

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Ernie Neff

Ernie Neff

Senior Correspondent at Large