[permaculture] Orchard ladders

Norris Thomlinson scrub at corrupt.net
Wed Jun 20 11:11:58 EDT 2007

I'm looking at the beautiful cherries 15'+ up in our 30' tall cherry 
trees, and thinking about getting an orchard ladder as I can't imagine how 
else to get at the fruit!

Does anyone have recommendations for or experiences with orchard ladders? 
Anything to pay attention to when selecting a manufacturer?

I'm definitely planning on aluminum, as they're lighter, longer lasting, 
and require less maintenance than wooden ladders.

Any tips on what height to get?  I'm thinking a 16' ladder, the tallest 
most companies seem to make.  Obviously the extra weight and price and 
decreased portability are drawbacks.  But it seems that the taller ladder 
would give you the most flexibility.  And I could add a shorter ladder 
later if portability is really important.  Or is there a good compromise 
height I should consider?

How much of a difference is there between steps which are 2.5" wide vs 3" 
wide?  (Peanut gallery says: 1/2"!)  The manufacturers with 3" steps tout 
them as more comfortable for working on--any feedback from anyone who's 
used the different sized steps?  How important would this be for 
occasional use? (as opposed to hired hands working 40+ hours a week on a 
ladder through harvest season.)

Any other pointers?

Thanks in advance for any info!

Norris Thomlinson
Portland, OR

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