Because of our corner lot, my driveway is located around the corner, on the other side of the backyard. Where the driveway is located, it's covered by a old massive tree that tends to drop a lot of dirt (leaves, twigs, sap, etc.) that gets all over the cars. Also, the birds LOVE to perch in the tree and crap all over everything.

Instead of the more extreme options (building a garage, cutting down the tree, etc), I'm thinking of installing a sun shade sail (https://www.aliexpress.com/i/4000364014706.html) over top of the driveway (but under the tree) which I think might help keep things a little neater.

Other than the obvious (big branch falling, proper support posts for the sail), does anyone see an issue with this approach?

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    Well, it will interfere with the tree's view of its own roots, so the tree will definitely not like it. - However it takes a tree about six years to notice anything and another thirty years to get angry about it, so you should be okay for a while. Jul 5, 2021 at 0:59
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    somebody probably sees an issue ... that would only be an opinion and opinion based questions are off topic here
    – jsotola
    Jul 5, 2021 at 1:15

2 Answers 2


I propose that it would be better to find out what is causing the sap to drop from the tree and resolve that. Then, if that doesn't work the shade sail should work if you slope it so water will run off to an area where it can be channeled away from the house.

Chances are good you have a linden tree which gets aphids that secrete sap. A dormant oil treatment in the winter or multiple soap and water applications might help control the problem.

Easy to clean is another matter to consider. A sloping solution should allow you use a broom from the underside to move debris off the shade.

Lastly, unexpected weather events are possible anytime. How will you anchor it securely and where could it go in a high wind event?


I’d check the HOA rules (if any). I’d also check local zoning laws which covers issues such as 1) setbacks for improvements, 2) allowable percent of land (lot) “covered” by improvements, etc.

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