There are several important factors that affect the yield of sap from trees during the production season. One relationship that it sometimes overlooked is the one between tree size and yield.
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In the spring of 1998, a research project was initiated to develop alternative methods for maple produces using plastic tubing systems. Although the results are only preliminary, the development of alternative sanitation methods that may reduce reliance on chlorine is looking very promising.
Evaluation of wireless system to monitor vacuum in subing systems.
In order to determine the optimal approach to sap collection in their operation, maple producers need to be informed about how the choices they make will affect sap yield. One of the decisions they face is what spout size (diameter) to use.
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.
The cost of fuel in a typical oil-fired, Open Pan Evaporator (O.P.E.) for a 4000 tap operation can represent 20% of the total syrup production costs. Vapor Compression Evaporation (V.C.E.) offers a method of capturing lost energy and improving the fuel consumption of an O.P.E. Most of the energy goes up in steam and this unit will recapture lost energy to reuse.
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.
Weather conditions are the single most important factor affecting sap production in the sugar maple. Weather forecasts, therefore, can be a very valuable tool for maple syrup producers.
Buddy off-flavour is an annual, natural occurrence that has been well recognized since the dawn of commercial maple production in the late 19th century. As we began our investigation there were two basic ideas for the sudden appearance of buddy syrup. The first was that heating sap containing elevated levels of particular amino acids produced compounds (pyrazines) that contributed to buddy off flavour. A more recent idea has been that yeasts in the sap convert sulfur-containing amino acids into compounds that explain the off flavours.
Tapping trees creates a wound that the trees are usually able to heal. But what is the impact of tapping on trees?