The story behind the ladders

A New Gardening Venture – Hasegawa Tripod Ladders

During a recent trip to England, I attended an horticultural symposium at Great Dixter and then stayed on for an additional two weeks to work alongside the Dixter gardening staff and students as they prepared the garden for spring.

Pruning was one of the major jobs we were tasked with and, you guessed it, much of the pruning required ladder work. There was one very choice ladder to work on – an incredibly well-designed ladder made by a Japanese company called Hasegawa. You had to wait your turn to get your hands on the ladder because there was only the one of its kind and probably half a dozen people pruning something at any one time.

Matt on a 10’ Hasegawa tripod, pruning the Ligustrum quihoui in the Long Border at Great Dixter

Matt on a 10’ Hasegawa tripod, pruning the Ligustrum quihoui in the Long Border at Great Dixter

I spent one afternoon pruning a climbing rose with the aid of the Hasegawa ladder and was so impressed by its comfort and stability that when I got back to Victoria I started looking for them. I was sure someone would have discovered them and brought them to Canada. Surprise, surprise, I could only find them in the U.S. – the closest location was in Portland, Oregon. Well, I was making a trip to Portland for a Hardy Plant Seminar, I decided I’d take my truck and bring some back with me.

16’ ladder strapped onto my truck

16’ ladder strapped onto my truck

In spite of all the hassle, not to mention taxes and duties, I brought back four ladders. My gardening crew and I worked with them for a few months and were delighted with them – their wide, stable base; deep, comfortable steps and work platforms; clever adjustable 3rd leg; a chain that attaches the tripod leg to the main ladder frame so that it will never slip away; rubber ‘boots’ that cover the metal feet to allow for use on hard surfaces. Oh, and, incredible light weight because they are made of hollow aluminum, did I mention that? All of these features made our frequent work on ladders feel so much safer and secure, they quickly became a much valued and indispensable piece of gardening gear.

And so, the inevitable occurred: I thought, someone must sell them in Canada. I could sell them! I wrote to the fellow who sells them in the UK and he put me in touch with the folks at Hasegawa in Japan. And, as they say, the rest is history.

We now have a full selection of ladders stored at our warehouse in Richmond and several retail locations in and around Vancouver and Victoria. And a new warehouse has just been set up in Toronto. We have been selling the ladders to professional arborists and gardeners, garden designers, orchardists, hops growers, and all sorts of keen home gardeners.

The ladders are amazing, there’s nothing like them on the market here!