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Foresters’ Approach to Sugarbush Management in the Northeast U.S.

This research is focused on a first of its kind survey of professional foresters with the goal of not only understanding the technical approaches foresters use when working in sugarbushes, but also how the surveyed foresters view sugarbush management compared to managing stands for other forest products.

Quarter-Inch Tubing: Is it a Better Option for Gravity Sap Collection?

Ten years ago, 3/16” diameter tubing was introduced to the marketplace as an alternative tubing to 5/16” diameter tubing.  However, recent research shows that sap production in 3/16” tubing drops off as soon as the second year after installation due to microbial growth. A replacement for 3/16” diameter tubing in gravity systems could be 1/4” tubing. With almost twice the aperture of 3/16” tubing (0.049 sq inches compared to 0.0275 sq inches), 1/4″ inch tubing is less likely to plug from microbes yet is still able to create a full column of sap for gravity vacuum. Quarter-inch tubing is currently not available for maple producers but can be procured from other industries and, with modifications, will work for maple production.

Management Strategies for Invasive Plants in the Sugarbush

There are multiple approaches to treat or otherwise kill invasive plants that that the maple producer wants to control. The best treatment in one situation may not be best in another situation. Methods of treatment are typically either mechanical or chemical. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages depending on the circumstances.

Exudation Pressure in Maple Trees: Comparing Simulations with Experiments

Exudation is the process whereby trees can generate a large positive pressure in stems or roots during months when the tree is leafless and mostly dormant and temperatures fluctuate above and below freezing. This article aims to provide an update on recent modelling efforts
in combination with experimental measurements from red/sugar maple trees at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center that validate the model results.

Why and How to Check your Hydrometer’s Accuracy

Hydrometers are a critical tool for making high-quality, legal density maple syrup. A $20 to $30 investment in an accurate hydrometer can yield a valuable return in income for the producer. This article explains how to use and test a hydrometer for accuracy.

Reduced Sap Yields When Tapping Into Non- Conductive Wood

According to a recent survey of more than 300 maple producers in the northeast United States, nonconductive wood was hit during tapping on average 4.5% of the time and the responses ranged from 0-41% of the time (UVM Extension 2019 unpublished). Previous research has explored factors that impact the likelihood of tapping into NCW. Significant factors include but are not limited to; dropline length, taphole diameter, tapping intensity (number of taps/tree) and stem growth (van den Berg and Perkins 2014). Other work touched on the relationship between the amount of conductive wood exposed while tapping and yields (Wilmot et al. 2007). But to date, there has been no direct investigation as to the relationship between the percent of NCW is intercepted while tapping and sap yield. The present study sought to understand the relationship between the amount of NCW in a given tap how and the amount of sap collected, as well as understanding if other factors (sap sweetness) might impact total yields between treatments.

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.

Maple Sports Drink Fills a Niche in Performance Beverage Market

The Cornell Maple Program has been working on developing athletics-oriented maple products for several years. Our latest work has led to a “maple sports drink,” a hydrating, nourishing electrolyte-replacement beverage that meets the same nutritional standards as Gatorade and Powerade.

Maple syrup production from sap preconcentrated to ultra high °Brix by membrane technology: Composition and properties

Maple syrup is produced typically from maple sap concentrated by nanofiltration or reverse osmosis at a moderate °Brix level ranging from 6 to 16 °Brix followed by heat evaporation. Recently, new membrane processes have been developed to concentrate maple sap to ultra-high °Brix reaching up to 40 °Brix. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of this ultra-high concentration of sap on the composition, the properties and the cost of corresponding maple syrup. Results showed some differences in chemical composition and properties between syrups produced from low and ultra-high concentration of sap. Syrups produced from ultra-high °Brix concentrated sap had lower concentrations of potassium and polyphenols, a lighter color and distinctive flavor. This was mainly observed when no modification were applied to the heating pattern in the evaporator pans. However, syrups produced by modulation of the heating pattern in the evaporator had color, flavor and taste similar to control syrups. These results demonstrate that syrups with comparable sensory properties can be obtained from low and ultra-high concentrated sap by adjusting the heating time depending on the initial °Brix. The concentration process to ultra high °Brix allows for a concomitant reduction of the production costs and a modulation of syrup quality.

Yields from Early Tapping and Taphole “Rejuvenation” Strategies

Because the impacts on yields of early tapping strategies, with or without subsequent rejuvenation, are likely to be affected by weather conditions which can vary widely from year to year, controlled experiments over multiple years are required in order to more fully assess whether any of these strategies result in greater yields than tapholes made during the standard spring sap flow period, or whether any increases in yield would be sufficient to compensate for the increased costs associated with implementing them. Thus, we conducted a multi-year, controlled experiment to assess the yields of several early tapping strategies, with and without subsequent rejuvenation, relative to the yields of standard spring tapholes.

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