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Choose wisely when selecting where to tap

Knowing when, where, and how to tap is critical to making good maple syrup and keeping trees healthy.

Comparison of the “Small” Spout with the Traditional 7/16″ Spout

The “small” spout, 19/64″ or 5/16″ in diameter, has been widely available to maple producers since the mid to late 1990’s as a “healthy” alternative to the traditional 7/16″ spout. While now in general use by producers in some regions, particularly those collecting sap by vacuum, the utility of these smaller spouts is still questioned by many sugarmakers, particularly those collecting sap by gravity. This article will review several studies conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center comparing 7/16″ spouts with small spouts (for the purposes of this article, 5/16″, and 19/64″ will be considered equally as “small” spouts).

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.

Development and Testing of the Check-Valve Spout Adapter

The goal of this project was to find alternative ways to reduce microbial contamination of tapholes. One approach we investigated was to use a check-valve to prevent microbial contamination of tapholes by preventing backward movement of sap from the tubing system into the taphole.

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 Tapping Depth on Sap Volume, Sap Sugar Content, and Syrup Yield Under High Vacuum

Tapping depth strongly influences both sap yield and wounding. Numerous studies have focused on the amount of sap produced with ifferent depths, the most extensive work conducted by Morrow (1963), who found a tendency for increasing sap yields with increasing taphole depth. However, this work was conducted on gravity with 7/16” tapholes, so is less informative to most producers using 5/16” spouts and vacuum.