During the 2011 maple sap season a variety of research trials were conducted at the Arnot Forest of Cornell University and in the woods of a number of cooperators both with vacuum and gravity systems. Research conducted over the last five years has shown that significant increases in sap yield can be obtained by keeping the tap hole from contamination by bacteria and yeast.
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In 2012 a variety of spout and tubing cleaning and replacement options were tested to determine the extent of sap yield changes. These tests were done at the Cornell Arnot Research Forest.
In 2013 a variety of spout and tubing cleaning and replacement options were tested to determine the extent of sap yield changes that would result. Most of these tests were done at the Cornell Arnot Research Forest.
During the 2015 maple sap season the Cornell Maple Program conducted a small trial, testing sap yield from 5/16″ tubing vs. 3/16″ tubing. This trial was not conducted at the Arnot Research forest but with a small maple operation cooperator. The tubing system consisted of six lateral lines, three 5/16″ and three 3/16″ alternating between the two treatments across the hillside.
During the 2019 maple season the Cornell Maple Program conducted replicated trials on 5/16 and 3/16 tubing looking at a variety of tubing options for taphole sanitation and tapping. This report will focus on the 5/16 results.
There has been a lot of interest in 3/16″ tubing over the past several years. This article describes research results and possible future directions.
More then a decade ago there was a renewed realization that microbial contamination of maple sap collection systems was having a significant detrimental impact on sap yields. Several research studies to investigate ways to improve sap yields from tubing systems were undertaken at both the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center (Underhill, VT) and at the Cornell University Arnot Forest (Van Etten, NY) starting at about the same time and proceeded both as independent and joint projects from 2009-2018. The results of many of these studies have been reported in the past in numerous individual publications and presentations. This article seeks to combine and present this extensive body of work into a single, comprehensive, but concise summary of our results.
The initial application of plastic tubing for gathering maple sap in the 1950s was indisputably one of the most significant technological developments of the maple industry in the twentieth century. However, the first viable tubing system was introduced over forty years earlier as a gravity drawn system made completely of metal.
A new method of gathering sap from sugar maple saplings is being tested.
Research conducted at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center over several years to explore a variety of methods to potentially increase sap yields from tubing systems through modifications of the lateral/dropline portion of the sap collection system.