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was hit during tapping on average 4.5% of the time and the responses ranged from 0-41% of the time (UVM Extension 2019 unpublished).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.
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Optimal syrup production starts at the tree, and requires thinking beyond the current season. This session focuses on tapping practices that both maximize yield and ensure long-term sustainability of your sugarbush. Topics include timing of tapping, taphole placement, taphole sanitation, and sap collection.
The Cornell Maple Program presents Sweet Talk, with hosts, co-directors of CMP, Aaron Wightman and Adam Wild. Your hosts will present the latest research, news, and trends in the maple industry, with various guests including other maple researchers, industry experts, and local sugarmakers.
What I am proposing in this article is that woodland owners consider sap and syrup production as a way to increase the financial benefits derived from their forest resource by tapping their trees, and increase the fun in owning a woodlot with a good “sugarin off” party.
In recent years, research at Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Forest has looked at ways to maximize maple sap production through tapping practices such as spout selection, re-tapping and timing of tapping.
This aim of this project was to determine whether early spout and dropline deployment before tapping could be used while maintaining good sanitation levels and high sap yields.
In response to injury from wounds such as tapholes, trees initiate processes to compartmentalize the affected area in order to prevent the spread of infection by disease- and decay-causing microorganisms beyond the wound, and to preserve the remaining sap conducting system (Shigo 1984). This results in the formation of a column of visibly stained wood above and below the wound, and the affected zone is rendered permanently nonconductive to water and nonproductive for sap collection. These processes, along with effects from microbial activity, are responsible for the gradual reduction in sap flow from tapholes over the course of the production season. There has been recent renewed interest in strategies which attempt to extend the standard sapflow season or increase overall yields through the “rejuvenation” of tapholes. As part of a multi-year experiment to investigate the yields and net economic outcomes of several taphole longevity strategies, we conducted an experiment to investigate the volume of NCW generated in response to two of these strategies.
Comprehensive video on how to make the most of your sugaring season, covering tapping, tubing, and efficient boiling.
Maple producers know that when the temperature starts to rise in the spring, sap flows can’t be far behind. But when the weather starts to warm early in the spring and temperatures seem favorable for good sap flows, they are sometimes left wondering why the sap hasn’t started to run. There are several explanations for the disconnect between warm air temperature and a lack of flow during
the early season.
How does a tree respond to the wound created by a taphole, and what does that mean for future sap production?