In attempting to establish criteria for organic certification of maple operations, there are still some wide disagreements among certifying agencies over how to regulate behavior that is unique to maple.
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A summary of the current state of maple production in New England is based on surveys returned from approximately 220 sugarmakers in April, 2011.
There are a variety of reasons why sugarmakers might want to tap earlier than the traditional date: thousands of taps that take several weeks to install, lower snow cover and easier walking before mid to late winter, climate change generally moving the season forward and providing more sap flow weather in January and February. For most sugarmakers, the bottom line is simply this: what tapping time frame results in the highest sap yield? The experiments described below, which were performed between 2000 and 2007, were designed to answer this question.
Questions of how vacuum affects maple sap, syrup and trees have existed for many years, and these issues are perhaps more important today than ever before due to the increasing use of collection systems that can achieve very high levels of vacuum. This article will describe recent research performed at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center that was designed to answer questions about high vacuum.
Although maple dieback has received considerable recent attention in the Northeast, little has been reported about the relationship between sap sugar yield and crown health or crown nutrition. We measured sap sugar concentration (sweetness) in six northern Vermont maple stands in the springs of 1990-1992, and sap volume yield from tapholes at one stand in 1991. The stands differed in average crown dieback, canopy transparency, density, and mean dbh, as well as cation exchange capacity (CEC) of upper soil horizons.
Tapping trees creates a wound that the trees are usually able to heal. But what is the impact of tapping on trees?
Thoughts and data on how setting taps on different aspects of a tree can impact sap yield.
Thoughts on the value of implementing the new maple grading system.
Many researchers, in addition to many sugarmakers, have observed that there is a great range in the amount of sap produced from individual trees in a forest. Understanding, and perhaps predicting the different performances of the trees in a sugarbush is an aspect of maple physiology that remains fascinating.