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Climate Smart Farming Story: Cornell Maple

Steve Childs, the NYS Maple Specialist at Cornell Maple located in Ithaca, NY discusses extreme weather, climate variability, and adaptations taken to overcome weather challenges.

Cold-season patterns of reserve and soluble carbohydrates in sugar maple and ice-damaged trees of two age classes following drought

This study examines the effects of summer drought on the composition and profiles of cold-season reserve and soluble carbohydrates in sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) trees (50-100 years old or-200 years old) in which the crowns were nondamaged or damaged by the 1998 ice storm. The overall cold season reserve carbohydrate profiles in twig wood tissue of drought-stressed (DS) trees and non-drought-stressed (NDS) trees were generally similar, although differences were observed in the amount of reserve carbohydrates in DS and NDS trees. The cold-season level of starch stored in DS trees in early autumn in the wood tissue was about one-third to one-fifth that in NDS trees. The cold season sugar content in the DS trees was significantly greater than can be attributed to degradation of stored starch, only.

Compartmentalization: A Conceptual Framework for Understanding how Trees Grow and Defend Themselves

The purpose of this chapter is to describe a conceptual framework for understanding how trees grow and how they and other perennial plants defend themselves. The concept of compartmentalization has developed over many years, a synthesis of ideas from a number of investigators. It is founded on observations of trees injured in the field by wind, snow, ice, fire, animals, and insects, as well as during pruning, coppicing, sugaring, and other forest and orchard management practices. It is based on experimental studies of natural and artificial wounds with and without controlled inoculations with selected pathogenic and saprophytic microorganisms.

Cultural Methods for Establishing Sugar Maple in Field Plantings

A sugar maple plantation designed to examine specific cultural practices for efficient planting and enhancement of seedling survival and growth was established in 1997 at Cornell University’s Uihlein Sugar Maple Research/Extension Field Station near Lake Placid, New York. For 6 growing seasons after planting, the performance of specific treatments including tree shelter designs, weed control mats, and combinations of treatments for seedling survival and growth were measured. Treatments that were installed in combination with weed control mats provided increased seedling survival and enhanced growth increment during the study period.

Differential impacts of calcium and aluminum treatments on sugar maple and American beech growth dynamics

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.

Do Invasive Worms Threaten Northeast Maple Forests?

Some maple producers have reported low sugar maple regeneration that could be related to the presence of worms. This second wave of invasion by Asian earthworms is of concern to forest ecologists because of its potential disruption to the forest.

Does sugar removal impact trees? A complex question to answer.

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.

Effects of Acidic Deposition and Soil Acidification on Sugar Maple Trees in the Adirondack Mountains, New York

High levels of atmospheric sulfur (S) and nitrogen (N) deposition have substantially damaged ecosystems in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. Efforts to quantify damage have largely focused on aquatic effects2 However, limited recovery of surface water acid?base chemistry in response to large (>40%) decreases in S deposition over the past two to three decades has been attributed to depletion of soil calcium (Ca) and other base cations that may be ongoing despite declining acidic deposition. Availability of soil Ca has also been linked to changes in terrestrial faunal and vegetation communities in Adirondack hardwood forests.