Increasing the yield of sap from maple trees is the goal of most maple producers. While getting there isnÕt a matter of one simple thing, by following best management practices and paying attention to detail it is possible to increase sap yields, often quite dramatically.
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Details a study of 3/16″ tubing conducted in West Virginia.
Although rapidly adopted by many maple producers, due to the relatively short time period in which it has been in widespread use, there is far less understanding of sanitation in 3/16Ó tubing systems. To address this knowledge deficit, we conducted a multi-year study at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center to examine sanitation related losses in 3/16Ó tubing systems to determine which approach(es) might best mitigate sap losses due to sanitation.
One of the more common questions producers have when about tapping maple trees is Òhow deep should spouts be driven in to the taphole?Ó. Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer, since different spouts have different dimensions, variable degrees of taper and steps, and are made of different materials with dissimilar degrees of Òstickiness.Ó Regardless, the importance of driving spouts in to the proper depth is readily apparent: if spouts are driven too shallow there is a risk that spouts can leak vacuum or heave easily during freezes, but if driven too deeply, small cracks may form which cause liquid and vacuum leaks or alternatively, the reduced amount of exposed wood surface area inside the taphole caused by driving spouts in too deeply may reduce sap collection.
In order to determine the optimal approach to sap collection in their operation, maple producers need to be informed about how the choices they make will affect sap yield. One of the decisions they face is what spout size (diameter) to use.
Leader Evaporator Co. Check-Valve (CV) spouts and adapters incorporate a small, free-floating ball which is designed to reduce or prevent backflow of sap into the taphole during freezing, when leaks in the tubing system occurs, and when mechanical releasers dump and introduce air into the system. Several studies over nearly a decade have compared sap yields from CV adapters and spouts to various non-CV spouts and adapters.
In general, it is presumed that any effect of Òspout colorÓ on sap yield arises due to thermal warming of darker-colored spouts during sunny periods. Darker-colored spouts warm faster and the spout temperature can rise considerably above air temperature when hit by the sun compared to lighter-colored spouts. To assess the effect of Òspout colorÓ on sap yield, we conducted a multi-year study at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill, Vermont. Twelve treatment plots were randomly assigned a different spout type, with one mainline and releaser for each plot.
Analysis of the importance of slope on a variety of tubing systems.
There are several important factors that affect the yield of sap from trees during the production season. One relationship that it sometimes overlooked is the one between tree size and yield.
Today we are at the UVM Proctor Maple Research Center in Underhill Center, Vt. with center director Dr. Timothy Perkins, Jean Francois Goulet of Lapierre Equipment and Proctor’s Abby Van Den Berg, boiling on a Lapierre HyperBrix system with 35 percent concentrate. The new technology takes out 2/3rds of the water from the sap before it hits the evaporator. Lapierre donated the equipment to the Proctor center to support research. Van Den Berg’s findingsÑfollowing a blind taste test last fall with a group of volunteersÑ found there is no noticeable taste difference between syrup produced in a high brix process vs. conventional syrup.