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.
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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.
Beginning in 1999, a newly introduced maple sap spout for use in smaller diameter tapholes was evaluated at Cornell University’s Uihlein Sugar Maple Research/Extension Field Station near Lake Placid, New York. After two sap production seasons, no significant differences were found in sap volume yield and sap sugar concentration in maple sap collected with the small diameter spout compared with that of the conventional sap spouts.
Maple producers and rural landowners throughout the maple syrup producing regions of the Northeast have expressed interest in acquiring improved sugar maple seedings for future sap production. A sugar maple tree improvement program for high sap concentration began in the 1960s under the direction of the USDA Forest Service.
A spreadsheet to calculate costs of operating evaporators with a range of fuel types.