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Forest Pests of North America

The purpose of this website is to provide images and information of insects, diseases, weeds, and abiotic factors that cause damage to urban, managed, and natural forests. This site aggregates pictures, publications, and tools from many sources and packages the resources in an easy, searchable format. This site is intended to be used by homeowners, land managers, volunteers, urban foresters, county agents, outreach educators, and anyone else interested in identifying and managing their trees and forests.

Forest Connect Videos

Videos from the Cornell University “Forrest Connect” program.

Guidance for Maple Open House Events During COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many maple producers were forced to cancel open house events during the 2020 sugaring season for the safety of the producers and their customers. This caused a major loss in sales for many maple producers throughout the maple producing region. While COVID-19 is likely to still be a concern for the 2021 sugaring season, we now have a better understanding of the virus and protective measures to keep everyone safe while staying open for business. Those measures and best practices are detailed in this guidance.

Pandemic Prompts New Ways to Market Maple

Maple farmers experienced a difficult transition when the COVID-19 outbreak in North America resulted in the shutting down of sugarhouses to the public, particularly during some of the most crucial weekends for in-person maple sales. Sugarmakers had to quickly pivot in order to make up for lost sales in the sugarhouse as well as from wholesale restaurant and school accounts. This shift brought about some creative thinking and innovative solutions to reach customers and promote maple products. Some successful marketing, sales and agritourism strategies have not only helped producers recover lost sales, but have permanently enhanced their future sales approach and marketing plans.

Maple Performance Gel

Consisting of mostly sucrose, with some additional minerals, maple syrup is an ideal foundation for performance gels, and can satisfy a real need within the endurance running communities. We found that adding a thickening agent to maple, with the addition of flavoring and electrolytes, was the most ideal formula for nutritional benefits and consumer ease. A thorough processing step, clean and sterile packaging measures, and correct fill instructions are all vital in the shelf life and safety of these novel products.

Sugarbush Management Notebook

A sugarbush is a special type of woodland. Woodlands include a complex mixture of natural processes and attributes such as soil type, elevation, tree species, types of wildlife, history of use, tree age and more. Foresters can help maple producers gain an in-depth understanding of these factors to achieve a healthy and productivity sugarbush, but there are several steps a maple producer can take on their own.

State Regulations for Maple Production

Cottage food laws vary considerably from state to state, and are generally intended to be a way for small farmers and food processors to establish small businesses offering value-added food products. Some states require food producers to pay a fee, obtain a permit or license, or register with the town, county or state. Periodic health inspections of home kitchens and even product testing may also be required depending on location.

Allergens and Maple Syrup Production

Processing maple syrup into value-added products can increase product diversity, sales and producer profits. When considering the variety of potential value-added products, such as salad dressings, coated nuts, seasoning products, and sauces, it is important to evaluate the ingredients for their allergen risk potential and add the proper allergen statements to food product labels. This will ensure that you produce quality products and protect potentially susceptible consumers.