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frost pockets - a thought experiment

 
pollinator
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I've seen Paul mention that hugels on contour are non optimal because it gives cold air a place to gather. This is clearly not a  great feature in the north but something about it stuck in my head. It seemed like an unrecognized solution to something...

Then this morning I had the classic shower epiphany and realized one answer.  I live a bit south of the latitudes where maple syrup is typically produced and my understanding is that it's because our winters are not cold enough for long enough. However, up in the mountains here there can be quite cols weather from November through April (and even may) but at those elevations there often isn't enough water. Wellllllll....an on contour mound could build up soil.moisture and/or gather cool air and could create a home for a micro maple grove that could supply a homestead with an awesome sweetener.

Can anyone else think of other uses for intentionally creating frost pockets? Does my idea sound at all plausible?
 
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I think it's worth a try.  I thought about making an intentional one to put an apple tree in.  Many years our apple trees will start to blossom, we'll get hit with a frost, and we'll get no apples that year.  If you could keep the apple tree colder for a bit longer, it might miss those few warm days that cause them to blossom to early.
 
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A frost pocket would be a good place to put a root cellar.  Or a place to sit on a hot day if those characteristics that make it hold frost also make it hold the coolest air in summertime.
 
s. lowe
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Jen, I am currently in a rental on the coast at about 38 degrees latitude. On the coast this wouldn't work as it's never cold enough. I am looking to move inland a few dozen miles to an elevation between 2 and 4 thousand feet, more or less same latitude.

Maples grow around here well but once you get above 1000 feet or so they only grow very close to the creeks.
Sugar maples seem to grow anywhere that it is moist enough but to produce enough sugar to make syrup harvesting worth while they need a lot of cold.over the winter
 
Trace Oswald
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Jen Fan wrote:[quote=s. lowe
Then this morning I had the classic shower epiphany and realized one answer.  I live a bit south of the latitudes where maple syrup is typically produced and my understanding is that it's because our winters are not cold enough for long enough. However, up in the mountains here there can be quite cols weather from November through April (and even may) but at those elevations there often isn't enough water. Wellllllll....an on contour mound could build up soil.moisture and/or gather cool air and could create a home for a micro maple grove that could supply a homestead with an awesome sweetener.



Where exactly are you?  I guess I mean altitude and zone.  This is really interesting!  I assumed most deciduous trees wouldn't grow up where we're at (zone 3/4), but I planted some red maples last year as an experiment and we'll see if they survived our very easy winter.  I didn't actually think about the possibility that maybe we COULD grow sugar maples up here.  I will have to look into what kind of environment they enjoy, thank you for sparking some thought there!

Sugar maples are supposed to be good in zone 3, and they grow everywhere here in zone 4.  I have thousands of them on my land that were planted by nature.
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