France: heat from candles for the Lavaur orchards (Tarn)

In the French department of the Tarn, some fruit producers are planning to keep their orchards warm using stearin candles, in order to fight against the cold and potential frost.

This method helps protect crops that are very sensitive to the cold, especially apples and kiwis. “The vegetative stage of apple trees is even earlier this year than the last. Flowering happened ten days earlier than in 2020. It is imperative to protect the plants or the harvests may be lost,” explains the manager of Domaine de Fontorbes.

The temperatures below 0 at night and the northeastern wind can cause “black frost” and important damage in the orchards. This weekend and until March 23rd, actions will be taken to protect the orchards. In a press release, the town hall of Lavaur indicated that “both orchards and jobs are at stake.”

Other procedures will also be implemented, such as spraying, thereby creating a thin layer of ice to protect the fruit or blowing hot air over several hectares.

Photo: © Mairie de Lavaur 

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