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Orchard ladders

Posted by Peter Drevniok 
Orchard ladders
February 04, 2022 02:48PM
Hi,

I am thinking of buying a Hasegawa orchard ladder but can't decide on which length and type (GSC or GSU) would be ideal.
If the trees are kept to 12 feet (if that's possible on Bud 118 and MM111) then would a 10 foot ladder be adequate or
should I purchase a 12 foot ladder?
Thanks.

Peter Drevniok
Wakefield, Quebec zone 4b
Re: Orchard ladders
February 04, 2022 06:35PM
Peter, I have a 9' tripod ladder (not Hasewaga though) and find it high enough for my standard trees which can get higher than 12'.
Only in some of my wild seedling trees (which may reach 40 feet in height) it is then not high enough - but a 12' ladder wouldn't help much more...

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: Orchard ladders
March 07, 2022 04:48PM
Hi Claude,

Do you have a recommendation for the brand of orchard ladders? We're going to buy our first ones to help with pruning this year.

Thanks,

Charlie and Josh
Zone 5b in New York

Charlie and Josh
Sylvan Cider
Zone 5b
Finger Lakes, NY
Re: Orchard ladders
March 07, 2022 07:58PM
Charlie Treichler Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Hi Claude,
>
> Do you have a recommendation for the brand of
> orchard ladders? We're going to buy our first ones
> to help with pruning this year.

Sorry, but no...
I bought mine about 25 years ago in Canada (I remember paying about 100$ CAD or a little less for it), and I have no idea if it even has a brand name...
It is very well made, but not the same standard as what I can see on the Hasewaga web site. Standard aluminum main ladder, quite wide at the base, and a circular (about 2 inches diameter) post for the third leg.

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: Orchard ladders
April 25, 2022 06:56AM
Claude, do you have any other techniques you use for spraying, harvesting, or generally taking care of your 40' seedlings? We have some old M106's that are about that height (!), which can be a bit challenging (ha!).

Earthworks
Zone 7a in West-Central MD
Re: Orchard ladders
April 25, 2022 07:41AM
Josh Willis Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Claude, do you have any other techniques you use
> for spraying, harvesting, or generally taking care
> of your 40' seedlings? We have some old M106's
> that are about that height (!), which can be a bit
> challenging (ha!).

Josh,
Have you heard of this wonderful technique called "do-nothing"? AKA "let Nature go"...
I do clean the ground under these wild trees, cut larger maple or birch trees that may be shading them.
I may cut some low branches that are dead or in the way, but nothing higher than my height or that I can easily reach.
Spraying? Are you joking? These are 60-80 years old and have never been sprayed. They give reasonably clean fruit (for cider) and are in good health. I don't see any reason why I should start spraying even if I had the capacity for spraying such trees (which I don't have anyway).
For harvest, it is just a question of picking the apples on the ground once every 3-4 days during season.
I have 12 ft post with a hook for shaking branches, but with some of them this is far from being long enough and will let me shake only the lowest branches. I saw last fall a friend who has a 21 ft telescopic post in 3 sections - that is what I'd need... it is quite heavy however.

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Author, The New Cider Maker's Handbook
Re: Orchard ladders
April 27, 2022 06:21AM
Claude - ha, yes indeed. We have been happy practitioners of the 'natural' / lazy approach to orcharding for several decades! That said, I'm guessing it works best for your seedlings than than our grafted "semi-dwarf" giants. However, our volunteer cherries have much the same benefit you describe. We would be happy to have such a stand of volunteer apples as well. But that's a pomace for another thread...

Earthworks
Zone 7a in West-Central MD
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