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World's largest orchard ladder to return to Summerland

Image Credit: SUBMITTED

The world’s tallest tripod orchard ladder was in Summerland for the past 25 years, and it will be again soon, but the rungs are down this summer.

The red structure was hard to miss for anybody driving along Bentley Road, where it stood for 25 years on the Dickinson Family Farm.

It was declared the world’s largest of its kind by Guinness World Records in the year 2000, measuring 9.19 metres tall, or about 30 feet.

“I've got a little disappointment for you,” farmer Mike Dickinson said. “About two weeks ago I lost the ladder, I’ll have to build a new one, but I won’t be doing that til winter.”

How did it break?

“It was more rotten than I thought and it came down,” he said. “It was a pretty big disappointment.”

READ MORE: Step away from the ladder: B.C. Hydro reports 'backyard loggers' account for huge jump in power line incidents

There were cherries trees surrounding the ladder, but weighing in at about 500 pounds, it was too heavy to move around the orchard.

“My dad (Dwayne Dickinson) built it more just as an attraction, to be the orchard with the big red ladder.”

Dwayne hired an engineer to design the original ladder, and the same blueprints will be used for the new one, his son says. 

This will be the first summer since the 1990s the public won’t have a chance to see the ladder up close during cherry season at the u-pick farm.

But when it’s back again next year, climbing up the very tall ladder will still not be recommended.

“We don’t like people climbing it, it’s pretty scary when you get up there,” Mike said.

Until the new ladder is up and standing at its record-breaking height again, it is unclear which tripod orchard ladder is the world's tallest. 

As for this year’s u-pick season, the Dickinsons are hoping to open to the public on July 14.

This image of Dickinson Family Farm and the world
This image of Dickinson Family Farm and the world's tallest orchard ladder was captured in 2012 by Google Streetview.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/

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