Shade Cloth % Advice

I have an opportunity to obtain some 75% shade cloth from a friend of a friend who’s a wholesaler for portable shade structures for cars. I’m located out here in sunny Los Angeles. I’ve researched that most people suggest 30-50%… would 75% be too much and jeopardize my trees during the hot sunny months? Does anyone know what percentage Ryan uses in his garden?

For context, I have a variety of maples, elms and junipers that would potentially be under this shade cloth. Thanks in advance!

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Whenever I’ve heard Ryan talk about shade cloth he recommends 30%.

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I live in Las Vegas and use shade cloth on everything, all summer. As soon as it gets above 95 F or 100 F I put up 50% shade cloth. It gets up to 110 F to 115 F here. Usually 110 F Max. I would not go above 50% or 60% especially if its not too hot. You have to keep in mind why you are using the shade cloth. You are using it because of the infrared light spectrum. This is what heats everything. In the NW where Ryan lives the sun is not as intense as in the SW because of the angle of the earth. So Ryan can get away with 30%. Remember its a trade off, the more shade cloth you use the less sun your trees get, so less growth. You are trying to find a balance and equilibrium.

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That makes a lot of sense. LA weather is more like Vegas than Oregon. I guess shade cloth is only one part of the puzzle to relieve harsh summer stress. I’ve heard others water multiple times a day or have automated misting or watering systems too.

Anyone have any experience in misting systems?

I’m in southern Arizona, and once the summer hits, almost all my trees go under a shade all day. It gets so hot that they practically go dormant and stop all growth anyway. First priority is to keep existing foliage from burning, and the trees from drying too much. Otherwise, I lose any fine ramification I had.

I did try a misting system one summer, and though some trees appreciated the extra water, others didn’t respond well. If you do set up an automatic misting system, really keep an eye on all the trees affected. With enough heat, it doesn’t take long to steam cook the roots on a tree in the summer.

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