Sap ladders have been developed by maple producers in response to the challenge of transferring sap over gradients in sugar bushes. The main objectives of the present study are to learn more about sap ladders so that recommendations can be made regarding their comparative effectiveness.
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This research project was established in the spring of 2002 to study the technique of lifting sap with simple “sap ladder” tubing structures. It was conducted during the production seasons of 2002 and 2003 in an operational setting at Wheelers Maple Products in Lanark County, Ontario.
A two pipe sap ladder consists of a structure of two vertical pipes connecting the lower and upper sections of mainline. It was initially thought that the sap would lift in the pipe on the vacuum side and that air would travel through the pipe on the bush side. Results were not as expected.