We had two objectives in the study of sugar maples which showed signs of decline and stress on a roadside where deicing salt was used in the winter. One goal was to determine if tree stress is related to the levels offsodium and chloride in their sap and in the groundwater and soil around their roots; and, if so, to develop methodology approved by the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) that would allow any laboratory to use a standard method to assess maple tree decline due to sodium and chloride effect. The second goal was to evaluate the quality of the syrup processed from sap aseptically collected from maples in decline. We are updating here the later objective of the project that is of interest to the sugar maple producers.
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In 1998, fifteen managed sugar bush blocks with 7% to 72% ice-induced crown damage were established in eastern Ontario. Results suggest that severe ice storm damage to crowns resulted in reduced fall root starch levels and less sap production, and/or sap sweetness, and therefore lowered the syrup producing capacity of sugar maple.
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.
This article is intended to accompany the Tapping Zone Model available to download at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (UVM-PMRC) website. It provides a general explanation of the model and how it can be used. The model can be used to estimate the chances of hitting conductive and nonconductive wood when tapping, and this can be used to assess the sustainability of current or planned tapping practices.
Through the increased combustion of fossil fuels, humans have dramatically increased pollutant additions of sulfur and nitrogen into the atmosphere wher eit combines with water to form sulfuric and nitric acids, creating acid rain. This article investigates the impact of this issue on sugarbush health.
Summaries of research presentations at the 2014 annual NAMSC meeting.
Knowing when, where, and how to tap is critical to making good maple syrup and keeping trees healthy.
Have you ever wondered why open grown trees produce more and sweeter sap than the ones growing close to each other? To answer these questions, I would like to share with you from my 37 years of experience in forest management.
A presentation on appropriate tapping guidelines for modern, high-yield sap collection practices.
Acid deposition induced losses of calcium (Ca) from northeastern forests have had negative effects on forest health for decades, including the mobilization of potentially phytotoxic aluminum (Al) from soils. To evaluate the impact of changes in Ca and Al availability on sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and American beech (Fagus grandifolia Ehrh.) growth and forest composition following a major ice storm in 1998, we measured xylem annual increment, foliar cation concentrations, American beech root sprouting, and tree mortality at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (Thornton, New Hampshire) in control plots and in plots amended with Ca or Al (treated plots) beginning in 1995.