The Cornell Maple Program in Lake Placid, NY has been managing groves of sugar maples selected and propagated for having genetically sweeter sap for close to 40 years. Are these trees actually sweeter and how much sap do they produce? Recent sampling looked back over the plantation to test the heritability of sap sweetness.
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Mark Isselhardt, UVM Extension’s Maple Specialist, shares results from a recent survey of professional foresters that includes approaches and challenges to successful sugarbush management.
There has been a lot of research over the years investigating the health and productivity of sugar maple in Vermont and the broader region. What do these findings tell us about how sugar maple might fair under a changing climate? Are there strategies that can be used to bolster the resilience of sugar maple?
Understanding how roads and water interact in the sugarbush is important for many reasons. Dave Wilcox, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Watershed Forester, provides a clear understanding of how acceptable management practices (AMPs) used in timber harvesting can help improve water quality, reduce erosion, and keep access to the sugarhouse open.
Thinning is a specific woodlot management practice to concentrate growth on the most desirable trees. Peter Smallidge, Senior Extension Associate with Cornell University’s Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, reviews the benefits of thinning, how to know if you should thin your sugarbush, potential problems from thinning, and reviews research about how thinning in sugarbushes affects health, tapping options, and production.