I can say definitively from my specific experience with Chinese elm saplings that they not only enjoy misting the foliage, but seem to basically require it. I used to mist the foliage a few times a day on my entire small collection of trees, until I heard Ryan say that he general avoids watering foliage. That was a few months ago.
My three elm saplings stagnated at that point. A couple weeks ago, I though, “jeez, these guys have seen better days, maybe I should start misting again.” And, sure enough, they perked back up, with all three pushing new growth in a matter of days.
Apart from that very limited experiment, I can say that my ficus seems to very much appreciate foliage misting, as well. I imagine this is the case for all tropical plants. I can’t speak to the exact biological mechanisms involved, but dense, moist, misty air is their native environment.