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.
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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.
How does a tree respond to the wound created by a taphole, and what does that mean for future sap production?
Managing a sugarbush for maple production.
Learn how to manage open areas returning to forest cover.
Managing trees planted for maple production.
Dr. Abby van den Berg presenting on research on early tapping and taphole longevity strategies on sap yield and non-conductive wood (NCW) formation in maple trees at the Dec 2020 Vermont Maple Conference.
A collection of videos on sugarbush management and sap production.
The importance of managing your woods well for long-term syrup production.
The effects of tapping on trees, and how to avoid overtapping.