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Sweet Talk: All Things Maple

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.

[Research on] Early Tapping & Taphole Longevity Strategies 

Dr. Abby van den Berg, Research Associate Professor with UVM’s Department of Plant Biology and Proctor Maple Research Center, shares the results of a multi-year experiment conducted by the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center to determine the net yields and impacts of fall and early-winter tapping, with and without subsequent “freshening” of the tapholes by re-drilling them wider and/or deeper.

Proctor Maple Research Center Update 

Dr. Tim Perkins, Director of UVM’s Proctor Maple Research Center, shares a review of the past year at PMRC and a collection of recent findings on topics related to sap and syrup production.

Keys to High Yield 

Actual yields in many maple operations are often lower than those achievable under optimum conditions. Dr. Abby van den Berg, Research Associate Professor with UVM’s Department of Plant Biology and Proctor Maple Research Center, presents practices to narrow this gap, from tree to sugarhouse.

Drought Stress and Water Availability for Maple Sap Production: A Correction

Sap flow and stem pressure in sugar maples during winter dormancy depend on the expansion and contraction of gas bubbles. These gas bubbles are primarily located in the libriform fibers of wood tissues, not in the xylem vessels. Though there are gas bubbles (embolisms) in the xylem vessels, these bubbles are not the dominant drivers of stem pressurization.

Increasing Syrup Production by Re-tapping During the Sap Season

Work done at the Uihlein Maple Research Forest in Lake Placid during the 2018 and 2019 maple syrup season looked at timing of tapping to best capture the most amount of sap. During this study it was found that trees tapped in late March did not yield as much syrup since they missed early sap runs. Trees tapped in January were able to capture early season sap runs but yield diminished slightly near the end of the season due to microbial plugging.