[NAFEX] Ladder Recommendations

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Wed May 28 17:16:32 EDT 2008

Scott, orchard suppliers in fruit growing areas usually have tripod 
ladders which are the best for usual heights. They used to be made in 
heights from 8 feet to 16 feet. I have used a 14 footer and owned a 10 
footer. By the late 80's the only ones the commercial growers were using 
around here were 8 footers made of aluminum or magnesium; recently 
planted trees had all been pruned to suit that length. The tripod 
ladders with a chain securing the third leg from slipping are the best, 
especially on clay soil which tends to be slippery when wet. Twice in 
one season when picking apples on clay soil, using a ladder without the 
chain, I had to save myself by grabbing a branch (luckily strong ones) 
and pulling the ladder up with my feet. The pitcher shouldn't go to the 
well too often.

There used to be ladders without third legs, which had the sides join to 
a prong which could be rested in a fork of branches. I recall seeing 
them advertised up to 24 feet, in the seventies I think, might have been 
in the American Fruit Grower.

Orchard ladders are made with a broad base, tapered toward the top.
I do not recommend builders' stepladders.

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario

Scott Williamson wrote:
> I was wondering if any of you had ladders for use in the orchard in and 
> around fruit trees for picking, thinning, etc. that you would 
> recommend.  A specific brand or even just a type of ladder that you 
> prefer and why.
> Thanks in advance.
> Scott

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