In order to determine the optimal approach to sap collection in their operation, maple producers need to be informed about how the choices they make will affect sap yield. One of the decisions they face is what spout size (diameter) to use.
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A collection of videos from the 2020 VT maple conference.
Tapping trees creates a wound that the trees are usually able to heal. But what is the impact of tapping on trees?
University of Maine Cooperative Extension educator Kathy Hopkins discusses the best time of year to tap maple trees in Maine.
Thoughts and data on how setting taps on different aspects of a tree can impact sap yield.
Maple producers know that when the temperature starts to rise in the spring, sap flows can’t be far behind. But when the weather starts to warm early in the spring and temperatures seem favorable for good sap flows, they are sometimes left wondering why the sap hasn’t started to run. There are several explanations for the disconnect between warm air temperature and a lack of flow during
the early season.
In response to injury from wounds such as tapholes, trees initiate processes to compartmentalize the affected area in order to prevent the spread of infection by disease- and decay-causing microorganisms beyond the wound, and to preserve the remaining sap conducting system (Shigo 1984). This results in the formation of a column of visibly stained wood above and below the wound, and the affected zone is rendered permanently nonconductive to water and nonproductive for sap collection. These processes, along with effects from microbial activity, are responsible for the gradual reduction in sap flow from tapholes over the course of the production season. There has been recent renewed interest in strategies which attempt to extend the standard sapflow season or increase overall yields through the “rejuvenation” of tapholes. As part of a multi-year experiment to investigate the yields and net economic outcomes of several taphole longevity strategies, we conducted an experiment to investigate the volume of NCW generated in response to two of these strategies.