Update Oct. 2020. I''m upgrading my review from 4 stars to 5. We''ve used one of these nets for 2 seasons, the other for 1. Both have held up very well installed on our trees from June-September. No holes, rot, or damage except for minor staining where it was in contact with...
Update Oct. 2020. I''m upgrading my review from 4 stars to 5. We''ve used one of these nets for 2 seasons, the other for 1. Both have held up very well installed on our trees from June-September. No holes, rot, or damage except for minor staining where it was in contact with the ground. They did protect our trees from hail this summer at least 2 times. The weight does bend the branches down (we have dwarf apple trees) and I put tall stakes around the tree periphery to support that weight as well as a central pole mentioned in my original review. If you have hail and want fruit, I recommend these nets.
Original review: We live in an area almost guaranteed to receive hail once a summer, or potentially several times. We have two dwarf apple trees (about 10-12 feet tall) which have been hammered by hailstorms in the past. Even the smallest, brief hail will damage the developing apples, little dings that eventually turn into rotten holes, thereby ruining the fruit. This spring, due to fertilizer and a good bloom, we had an unusual number of apples developing, and I started looking at hail protection schemes for trees. I bought this netting despite few reviews and the somewhat high cost, testing it on one of our two trees. I used a center pole of PVC pipe (tied to the tree trunk with zip ties, and stabilized at the bottom with stakes) to hold it up above the top branch. The weight of the net would have bent the top of the tree down, perhaps breaking it, in our case. I added several 5-foot stakes driven in the ground around the tree to hold the net off out away from the side branches (not 100% successfully but working OK). In our case the net drapes to the ground all around the tree with some left over. It is not tied to the center of the trunk as shown on the product box photo (we are not trying to keep bugs out, just hail off). The net is heavier and more dense than I expected. We ordered the 9.8x9.8 model, but it seems bigger than that. In any case it is large enough for our tree and then some. It''s a darker green color which does not seem to admit much light. The product photos seem to show a light-weight, white material. As I write this I''m now wondering if we got the right product. I''ll try to attach a photo so you can see for yourself (note hailstorm in progress in one photo). However it has done its job through two hail storms of several minutes, pea to marble-size hail. No damage to the protected tree, and apples seem to be developing OK under the lower light levels. The unprotected tree will probably lose all of its fruit as they develop, and then rot, from the small hail dings now present. Overall, I would buy this again (or a similar product that was lighter weight), and will probably do so next year for the other tree. Since it does not match the product photos I''m taking off one star. It does look like it will last for several years of use. Final note: I''m leaving it installed all summer, I will not try to remove it between storms as that would be too much work and the storms can come up on short notice. I''ll report back if I have any problems, and maybe post a photo of forthcoming apple pie from organic, hail-protected apples...!