Save Seattle’s Apples tree netting guide

Are you considering netting your apple or pear tree so you can finally enjoy pest-free fruit grown in your backyard this year? GREAT!

The first step is to figure out the size of the netting you need.

  1. Measure the height and width (spread) of your tree.
  2. Add the height and width measurements together, then multiply by 2. That number is the minimum length of one side of the square piece of net.

For example, for a 10’ tall tree with 8’ spread:

((10 + 8) x 2) = (16 x 2) = 32’ x 32’ square net

A few things to remember…

  • This calculation provides a generous size of net. If your tree’s width is narrow compared to the height you can go with a slightly smaller net.
  • Netting a tree is a good excuse to prune branches that extend beyond the typical shape of the tree. However, if you have a lot of young vertical growth on the top of your tree, don’t cut it before netting! Use the weight of the net to bend the growth over. These bent branches will be more likely to produce fruit in the future. This is an extra benefit of netting your tree.
  • If your tree is too tall and/or wide, consider netting section(s) of the tree with most fruitlets and installing the smaller net on an individual branch as if it were a small tree. You will still end up with a lot of healthy apples!

What kind of netting is best for your tree?

Hail netting and mosquito netting work well for protecting your fruit tree from pest damage.

Hail or bee netting typically has holes about 6.8 x 1.6 mm. This mesh size will keep out codling moth, apple maggot fly, and brown marmorated stink bug, common pests of apples and pears. Hail netting is very sturdy, does not ravel, and will last at least six years. The mesh is not small enough to keep out fruit fly-type insects.

Mosquito nets can be used keep out spotted wing drosophila and other fruit flies on cherries and plums, and they can also be used to keep out codling moth and apple maggot fly. Mosquito netting has holes smaller than 1.5 mm in size and comes in different colors and shapes, and is relatively inexpensive. It is, however, less sturdy and can tear easily, and will deteriorate due to sun exposure over time. The maximum height of trees that you can cover with the very largest mosquito bed nets is about 8’ tall.

Where to find netting

Online vendors:

Local Vendors: Inquire in store

Still have questions?

If you need help figuring out the best method and net size, send your questions to City Fruit at

Got your net but need help installing? Then fill out the Tree Care Service Interest Form HERE. Installation service is only available for trees up to 10′ x 10′. 

Check out the tree netting guide “How to Net Your Tree” for more tips and information. 

2020 Save Seattle’s Apples is made possible by:

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