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3/16 inch Tubing with Check Valves Trial

In a normal sap flow event, trees exude sap during the above freezing period and replenish that lost water by “sucking” it up from the roots during the below freezing period. If on a tubing system, during this negative pressure period they tend to draw sap back into the tree from the dropline. Sap, once it enters the droplines, is quickly contaminated with microbes. When they are drawn back into the tree, tap hole closure is initiated. The problem is compounded in 3/16- inch tubing because, unlike 5/16-inch tubing, the smaller diameter collection tube remains full of sap. A Cornell study found that up to 12 feet of sap in a 3/16-inch tube can be drawn back into the tree during this recharge time. CV spouts are one proven method of limiting this drawback with 5/16 inch tubing. The question was: will they also be effective with 3/16-inch tubing that is full of sap?

A Slow Boil: Marketing’s Long Game

A common marketing mistake is starting with the tools: social media, labels, or logos. Instead, marketing starts with: the business story, business goals, and identifying customers.

A systems biology approach to explore the impact of maple tree dormancy release on sap variation and maple syrup quality

Maple sap is a complex nutrient matrix collected during spring to produce maple syrup. The characteristics of sap change over the production period and its composition directly impacts syrup quality. This variability could in part be attributed to changes in tree metabolism following dormancy release, but little is known about these changes in deciduous trees. Therefore, understanding the variation in sap composition associated with dormancy release could help pinpoint the causes of some defects in maple syrup. In particular, a defect known as “buddy”, is an increasing concern for the industry. This off-flavor appears around the time of bud break, hence its name. To investigate sap variation related to bud break and the buddy defect, we monitored sap variation with respect to a dormancy release index (Sbb) and syrup quality. First, we looked at variation in amino acid content during this period. We observed a shift in amino acid relative proportions associated with dormancy release and found that most of them increase rapidly near the point of bud break, correlating with changes in syrup quality. Second, we identified biological processes that respond to variation in maple sap by performing a competition assay using the barcoded Saccharomyces cerevisiae prototroph deletion collection. This untargeted approach revealed that the organic sulfur content may be responsible for the development of the buddy off-flavor, and that dormancy release is necessary for the appearance of the defect, but other factors such as microbial activity may also be contributing.

Adding Profits Through Value-Added Products

The tried-and-true value-added maple products include candy and cream, and many producers have taken advantage of these products already. Some have gone further, adding maple products like ice cream, maple cotton candy, and maple-coated popcorn or nuts. More adventurous sugarmakers have begun making additional items, like salad dressings, hot sauces, and dog biscuits.

Asian Longhorned Beetle

This presentation by Tim Barwise (MA-DCR) the 2018 Vermont Maple Conferences covers the current infestation and the USDA-APHIS response to asian longhorned beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) in the greater Worcester, MA area.

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The leaves on the trees are still mostly green and few have fallen. Does this indicate anything for the upcoming sugar season?

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Will the dry weather affect syrup production next spring?

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Could the sugar maples have broken bud during unusually warm January temperatures?

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Why are my tapholes leaking and what can I do about it? (Part 2) Being able to recognize what is really a leak and what is not takes some time and thought and experience. This article offers some tips.