Shade Structures

Tex Guy

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Joshua, Tx
I live a little south of Fort Worth, Tx. The average wind at my home is almost 15mph. And we will get probably 40 days over 100 degrees this summer. Shade is at a premium at my house.

I have been in the hobby for a few months now. I've already moved my plants from a western exposure to an eastern exposure. When the heat really kicks in I'll be moving them to the North side.

But what I'd really like to do is build a permanent structure that will both break the wind and provide some shade. Looking around the interwebs I haven't really found much inspiration. Can anybody point me to some state of the art structures?
Tex Guy,

It doesn't to be that elaborate - but that is a nice set up. Some 4x4x? post and some 2x4s, screws and shade cloth and you are good to go. It doesn't need to be expensive to do what really is a pretty simple job of providing shade and blocking wind or hail.

If the shade structure is for finished trees in bonsai pots a smaller structure would work. If it is for growing out trees, you should consider going bigger so that they are not to crowded and you're not pruning trees just because they are touching the top of the shade cloth. (Hey, who knew that a tree would grow 6 ft tall with just a 1/2 inch trunk?)

Like the link to the dallasbonsai site also consider cover not only the top, but the south and west sides as well.
And, while 50% shade sounds like a lot, if your getting 40 plus days over 100F 70% is what you want.

Baseball sized hail I don't know what to do about rather than suggest a move to a less hostile climate. I understand that Sam lives in an area where he can use bar stool for benches. A move to Hawaii might just be the ticket.

Best of luck,
If you have a stockade fence with wooden support posts, you can hang industrial shelving angle irons to support wooden slat shelving that hangs directly off the posts along the fence perimeter. Additionally, you can hang shelf supports above the shelves to support frames for shade cloth--which comes in a variety of sun-blocking gradations. It's cheaper and less involved than building an entire structure and offers a bit of protection from hail (although probably not above golf-ball sized.)
Thanks everybody for the good input. At my place I think my wife will want something pretty special. We have a custom shade structure around our pool. I am thinking I just need to replicate the design elements out of that for the bonsai area.
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