More then a decade ago there was a renewed realization that microbial contamination of maple sap collection systems was having a significant detrimental impact on sap yields. Several research studies to investigate ways to improve sap yields from tubing systems were undertaken at both the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (Underhill, VT) and at the Cornell University Arnot Forest (Van Etten, NY) starting at about the same time and proceeded both as independent and joint projects from 2009-2018. The results of many of these studies have been reported in the past in numerous individual publications and presentations. This article seeks to combine and present this extensive body of work into a single, comprehensive, but concise summary of our results.
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The current ‘traditional’ tap hole number guidelines involve adding a tap for each 5 inch dbh above 10 inches dbh. ‘Conservative’ guidelines involve placing one tap in trees 12 inch dbh and a second tap in trees more than 18 inches dbh. The reasons behind the traditional guidelines are not stated in the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual, but the conservative guidelines are suggested when there is concern for tree health. The purpose of this article is discover where these guidelines came from and to re-establish the reasons why they exist.
The initial application of plastic tubing for gathering maple sap in the 1950s was indisputably one of the most significant technological developments of the maple industry in the twentieth century. However, the first viable tubing system was introduced over forty years earlier as a gravity drawn system made completely of metal.
Sap exudation refers to the process whereby sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) are capable of generating significant stem pressure in a leafless state, something that occurs to a lesser extent in only a few other related species such as birch and walnut. This exudation pressure is what causes maple sap to flow from a taphole in sufficient quantities to be harvested and processed into syrup. Exudation has been studied for well over 100 years and has been the subject of many scientific studies, but there is as yet no definitive explanation for how such large pressures can be generated in the absence of transpiration (i.e., when no photosynthesis occurs to drive the flow of sap).
A model that calculates the proportions of conductive and nonconductive wood in the tapping zone of a tree over time given user-input values for tree diameter and tapping practices.
While you may think that sap pricing should be relatively simple and easy to understand, there are actually many factors that can and should affect sap prices. This article presents a new method for pricing sap and explains how it differs from the traditional pricing guidelines that have been posted annually in the Digest.
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.
Research conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center over several years to explore a variety of methods to potentially increase sap yields from tubing systems through modifications of the lateral/dropline portion of the sap collection system.
Can fertilization of sugar maple stands lead to increased diameter growth, better crown conditions, and/or added sugar production? The effectiveness of fertilization depends in large part on soil nutrition.
Achieving a consistent and acceptable density level for maple syrup continues to be a challenge for many producers.