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.
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Some maple producers have reported low sugar maple regeneration that could be related to the presence of worms. This second wave of invasion by Asian earthworms is of concern to forest ecologists because of its potential disruption to the forest.
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.
Dr. Abby van den Berg presenting on research on early tapping and taphole longevity strategies on sap yield and non-conductive wood (NCW) formation in maple trees at the Dec 2020 Vermont Maple Conference.
Higher and wider discoloration, compartmentalisation and decay in maple wood by the use of the PFA pellet restricts the healthy sapwood areas and diminishes translocation of sap and nutrients. Furthermore, technological advances for better sanitation in sap collection and storage presently in use by the maple industry, tested by research to be safe for maple tree health and syrup quality, have made the use of the PFA pellet unnecessary.
A collection of videos on sugarbush management and sap production.
The importance of managing your woods well for long-term syrup production.
Slides from a presentation on how sugar maples adapt to drought and other effects of climate change.
Sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is a keystone species in the forests of the northeastern and midwestern United States and eastern Canada. Its sustained health is an important issue in both managed and unmanaged forests. While sugar maple generally is healthy throughout its range, decline disease of sugar maple has occurred sporadically during the pastfour decades; thus, it is important to understand the abiotic and biotic factors contributing to sugar maple health.
How to best manage your woodlands for maple production.