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deep roots in green house = geothermal

 
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In theory, given deep enough roots, plants can pump as much heat as most passive systems can, up and down keeping the green house productive in all seasons.. Anyone know anyone with experience with this? I'm sure, in colder climates ever green trees with very deep roots, acting as a back wall, would not only absorb much more sun than many other types of foliage, but it'd do it very consistently all year.. Given deep enough roots and a slow water flow through the soil, summer heat and fall heat could be stored deep for winter, then as that heat is brought up over the winter, the cold is built up for the summer.. the average surface temperature would give a late fall grow and early spring growing.. What plants are best?
 
pollinator
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Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
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You weave an interesting hypothesis, but honestly I don't see how it could be viable.

There are a lot of big "ifs" and "gotchas." I can't imagine a greenhouse that would be big enough to accommodate trees that are deep enough. Even if the trees could somehow pump up enough heat to make a difference, they would absolutely rely on sunlight and ambient heat to do it (transpiration). If you had a multi-day winter storm, it would shut down the system.

The "gotcha," as I see it, is that most trees naturally follow a seasonal rhythm, which includes a period of dormancy during which transpiration slows or stops. This is not only from temperature, but a response to shortening hours of sunlight and the accompanying change in light wavelengths. So, the hypothetical heat pump would stop working when you needed heat the most.

My 2 cents.

 
Josh Golden
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Yeah definitely stuff to work on. Yeah most of the energy would come from the sun each day, but given a cold climat adapted evergreen, I think it'd pump whenever  it could..  And condensation of the transporation gives you back a good chunk of that heat.. When it can.. Another catch... But as long the ever greens have other uses, like say needles for fule for a rocket stove fire starter/add..  And say nutrient collection, hydrological  lifting, condensation water cycle, geothermal, they make nearly best living solar absorbing back drop, mulch, beneficial insects ect... Seems like it'd be worth a try.. Maybe it'd only be really worth it on the small scale if you were growing a very compact crop like cannabis... But in really big green houses, or earth ships.... Also some are shaped really well, narrow.. But I dont know anything about their root depths..
 
Douglas Alpenstock
pollinator
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I'm not sure which evergreens you had in mind. Spruce and pine, for example, are very shallow rooted.
 
Josh Golden
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yeah Iv never looked. There's got to be some evergreen plants with deep roots, Joshua trees with many 100s of feet deep roots, are the only one that comes to mind, but that probably likes it warm and dry.. But it'd still b great in a hot green house
 
Josh Golden
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Looks like Douglas fir might work, a well documented awesome tree!
 
author & gardener
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Location: Southeastern U.S. - Zone 7b
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Sounds like an interesting topic for some serious research and experimentation.

What growing zone are you in, Josh? Southern magnolias are evergreen and have deep tap roots, but I don't believe they grow much above zone 6 or so.
 
Josh Golden
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Thanks yeah seems like it's worth some critical thinking and tests.. I'm at the north east border of USA with Canada.. Middle of Michigan lakes..
 
Josh Golden
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Leigh Tate wrote:Sounds like an interesting topic for some serious research and experimentation.

What growing zone are you in, Josh? Southern magnolias are evergreen and have deep tap roots, but I don't believe they grow much above zone 6 or so.



But might they make it in a green house or earth ship...
 
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Many trees are sensitive to the length of days and nights and may not thrive very well out of their zone, even if the temperature is sufficient.
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