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Fertilization of Sugarbushes Part I: Physiological Effects

The goal of this project was to examine the effects of liming and fertilization on tree physiology, growth and sugar production of a moderately fertile maple stand. In this first report, we describe, in general terms, the study area, treatments, and results of liming and fertilization on tree physiology and growth.

Sugar Maple Health and Management

Most of us understand how to tap trees, gather sap and produce maple syrup. Yet, one of the most important and least thought about tasks of a sugar bush owner is maintaining the health of the sugar maples. To do that effectively, the majority of us can greatly benefit from the help of a professional forester.

Improving Evaporator Efficiency

I have two forced air, wood fired evaporators and both have usually failed to boil in the front pan or within four inches of either side. I solved that spending under $50. Now the front pans boil and boiling occurs all the way to the sides, even above the side rail. What I did was relatively simple and nearly anyone should be able to accomplish it.

Shelf Life Extension of Maple Cream

Pure maple cream has a shelf life of less than one month if stored at room temperature. The maple cream may mold and physically separate into its maple syrup component during this period. The current product requires refrigeration to achieve an acceptable shelf life of 6 months. Our goal was to develop a process to attain 6 months shelf life at room temperature.

Weather Forecasts for Maple Producers

Weather conditions are the single most important factor affecting sap production in the sugar maple. Weather forecasts, therefore, can be a very valuable tool for maple syrup producers.

Economic Feasibility of Commercial Maple Syrup Production in Illinois

For Illinois farmers, the maple resource is poised to be tapped given that 1.8 of the total 4.3 million acres of Illinois woodlands exists on farms. Industry standards suggest that a properly managed maple tree resource producing an average sap sugar concentration of 2 percent and an average volume per tap per season of 10 gallons of sap is necessary for a commercial maple syrup venture to succeed.

Cultural Methods for Establishing Sugar Maple in Field Plantings

A sugar maple plantation designed to examine specific cultural practices for efficient planting and enhancement of seedling survival and growth was established in 1997 at Cornell University’s Uihlein Sugar Maple Research/Extension Field Station near Lake Placid, New York. For 6 growing seasons after planting, the performance of specific treatments including tree shelter designs, weed control mats, and combinations of treatments for seedling survival and growth were measured. Treatments that were installed in combination with weed control mats provided increased seedling survival and enhanced growth increment during the study period.

A History of Taps and Tree Size

The current ‘traditional’ tap hole number guidelines involve adding a tap for each 5 inch dbh above 10 inches dbh. ‘Conservative’ guidelines involve placing one tap in trees 12 inch dbh and a second tap in trees more than 18 inches dbh. The reasons behind the traditional guidelines are not stated in the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual, but the conservative guidelines are suggested when there is concern for tree health. The purpose of this article is discover where these guidelines came from and to re-establish the reasons why they exist.