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Vacuum Sap Collection: How High or Low Should You Go?

Questions of how vacuum affects maple sap, syrup and trees have existed for many years, and these issues are perhaps more important today than ever before due to the increasing use of collection systems that can achieve very high levels of vacuum. This article will describe recent research performed at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center that was designed to answer questions about high vacuum.

Variation in Sugar Content of Maple Sap

A knowledge of variation in sugar content is significant in any program aiming at improvement of existing maple stands. Certainly a factor which cannot be overlooked in making thinning recommendations for a producing stand is the sap quality of the maple trees under consideration. Respective yields, which are related to sugar content of sap as well as to amount of sap produced, must be taken into account.

Vigor and Nutrition vs. Sap Sugar Concentration in Sugar Maples

Although maple dieback has received considerable recent attention in the Northeast, little has been reported about the relationship between sap sugar yield and crown health or crown nutrition. We measured sap sugar concentration (sweetness) in six northern Vermont maple stands in the springs of 1990-1992, and sap volume yield from tapholes at one stand in 1991. The stands differed in average crown dieback, canopy transparency, density, and mean dbh, as well as cation exchange capacity (CEC) of upper soil horizons.

Walnut – Observations on The Timing of Tapping

Tapping walnut trees for sap collection and syrup production provides a syrup producer the opportunity to tap into the new, growing, and potentially lucrative specialty tree syrup market. The bulk price for walnut syrup in West Virginia this past season ranged from $150-$250/gallon, with retail sale prices topping $500/gallon (Tonoloway Farm, 2020). To get there, potential walnut syrup producers need to know how and when to tap their trees to maximize sap production. During the 2020 sap flow season, Future Generations University, with a grant from the NE SARE program, conducted studies looking at the application of vacuum, spout design, tapping procedures, and the timing of sap flow in walnut trees. This paper presents part of the findings of that work.

Weather Forecasts for Maple Producers

Weather conditions are the single most important factor affecting sap production in the sugar maple. Weather forecasts, therefore, can be a very valuable tool for maple syrup producers.

What does a taphole do to a tree?

Tapping trees creates a wound that the trees are usually able to heal. But what is the impact of tapping on trees?

When do I Tap a Maple Tree?

University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator Kathy Hopkins discusses the best time of year to tap maple trees in Maine.