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Managing Invasive Plants in the Sugarbush

The history of introduction of invasive plants into the US is varied, but there are many examples of species that have become interfering after introduction in the middle 1800’s. In most cases the introduction was intentional because of the expectation of a benefit for humans or wildlife. Following are several invasive shrub species common in many areas of the maple syrup producing region of North America.

Thinning Your Sugarbush for Sap & Tree Health 

Thinning is a specific woodlot management practice to concentrate growth on the most desirable trees. Peter Smallidge, Senior Extension Associate with Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, reviews the benefits of thinning, how to know if you should thin your sugarbush, potential problems from thinning, and reviews research about how thinning in sugarbushes affects health, tapping options, and production.

Sugarbush Management Notebook

A sugarbush is a special type of woodland. Woodlands include a complex mixture of natural processes and attributes such as soil type, elevation, tree species, types of wildlife, history of use, tree age and more. Foresters can help maple producers gain an in-depth understanding of these factors to achieve a healthy and productivity sugarbush, but there are several steps a maple producer can take on their own.

Getting Started with Small-Scale Maple Syrup Production

Making maple syrup is a time-honored tradition for woodlot owners, and anyone who has even a few maple trees. The process is as simple as boiling sap, but attention to a few details will make for a more pleasant, productive, and safe experience. A warning first, many people who start with just a few tapped trees quickly catch the maple bug; what starts as a handful of tapped trees can expand into hundreds of tapped trees.

Maintaining a Healthy Sugarbush

A sugarbush is a special type of woodland. Woodlands include a complex mixture of natural processes and attributes such as soil type, elevation, tree species, types of wildlife, history of use, tree age and more. Foresters can help maple producers gain an in-depth understanding of these factors to achieve a healthy and productivity sugarbush, but there are several steps a maple producer can take on their own.

Assessing the Commercial Potential of a Site for Maple Sap Collection

These 9 variables are intended to help a potential commercial maple producer evaluate the relative merits of one or more selected woods for profitable maple production. A poor or medium rating does not mean that the woods should not be tapped but that production costs in money or labor will likely be higher or greater investments will be necessary to allow the sap collection to be established relative to other sites. Some problems may be avoided if the potential producer is a creative problem solver. Small-scale producers and hobby producers have less emphasis on financial return, so these variables are relevant but perhaps not weighted as heavily.

Assessing the Commercial Potential of a Site for Maple Sap Collection

These 9 variables are intended to help a potential commercial maple producer evaluate the relative merits of one or more selected woods for profitable maple production. A poor or medium rating does not mean that the woods should not be tapped but that production costs in money or labor will likely be higher or greater investments will be necessary to allow the sap collection to be established relative to other sites. Some problems may be avoided if the potential producer is a creative problem solver. Small-scale producers and hobby producers have less emphasis on financial return, so these variables are relevant but perhaps not weighted as heavily.

Maintaining a Healthy Sugarbush

Maple producers benefit from spending time, and maybe some money, ensuring they have a healthy and productive sugarbush.