Climate change trends, the impact on maple syrup production, and mitigation strategies.
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Maple producers benefit from spending time, and maybe some money, ensuring they have a healthy and productive sugarbush.
In order to survive, trees must overcome their injuries. But technically they donÕt heal their wounds, at least not the way that human and animal bodies repair, restore, or replace damaged cells or tissue. Trees are built in layers of cells that are bound by rigid walls in a modular, compartmented way. This structure dictates their wound response.
Knowing when, where, and how to tap is critical to making good maple syrup and keeping trees healthy.
Summaries of research presentations at the 2014 annual NAMSC meeting.
Knowing how to properly maintain your sugar bush — a maple producer’s most valuable resource — is a critical skill.
Acid deposition induced losses of calcium (Ca) from northeastern forests have had negative effects on forest health for decades, including the mobilization of potentially phytotoxic aluminum (Al) from soils. To evaluate the impact of changes in Ca and Al availability on sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) growth and forest composition following a major ice storm in 1998, we measured xylem annual increment, foliar cation concentrations, American beech root sprouting, and tree mortality at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (Thornton, New Hampshire) in control plots and in plots amended with Ca or Al (treated plots) beginning in 1995.
Two main issues relate to the sustainability of maple sugaring; tree wounding and sugar removal. In other words, does a tapped maple tree grow more wood than is compartmentalized (functionally “removed by the tree’s normal wound response process) each year and/or does sap collection take more sugar from the tree than can be readily replaced through photosynthesis? These two issues, although separate in some respects, are inextricably intertwined.
Have you ever wondered why open grown trees produce more and sweeter sap than the ones growing close to each other? To answer these questions, I would like to share with you from my 37 years of experience in forest management.
This article is intended to accompany the Tapping Zone Model available to download at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (UVM-PMRC) website. It provides a general explanation of the model and how it can be used. The model can be used to estimate the chances of hitting conductive and nonconductive wood when tapping, and this can be used to assess the sustainability of current or planned tapping practices.