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Thread: Maple tree tolerance to saturated soils

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Ashford CT

    Default Maple tree tolerance to saturated soils

    My sugar bush is approximately 4 acres on a steep southwest slope. Water drains into a swamp leading to a couple beaver ponds. Over the past two years, improvements to the roadside drainage has increased runoff through my sugarbush. In general it is channelized flow but does moderately muck up a small section (seasonally). I知 wondering the long term effects increased run-off could cause. Thoughts? Very minimal salt/sand, i知 More worried about the tree roots and stability in the wetter areas which makes up about 10% of the sugar bush.
    Thanks in advance
    16x20 sugar house
    2x3 mason evaporator
    Mule 610 sap hauler
    2016 - 2x3 Mason 50 buckets - 5 gallons
    2017 - 2x3 Mason 70 on 3/16, 15 buckets - 17 gallons

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Central PA


    Sugar maples in general do not handle change well. Most of your roots are in the top 18" where moisture and oxygen are both present (soil type changes that to a degree). If it's intermittent they should be able to adapt as time goes on by allowing roots to establish where there is more oxygen. My greatest concern would be road salt. In my neck of the woods we never season sparingly but pour liberally. As an Arborist we remove many sugar maple that have had their roots played with by equipment but possibly just as many from salt damage.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Ashtabula County, Ohio


    I agree. Sugar maples seem to be so very sensitive to any changes in their environment, especially root compaction and flooding. If these are reds or silvers then I think you will be fine. If they are sugars then I am afraid they will deteriorate in health over the next 5 years.
    1000 taps back down to 250
    2x7 A&A Raised Flue
    Leader Micro2 RO
    Gast 3040 vac pump, Lapierre electric releaser
    Syrup made 2010:36 gal 2011:126 gal 2012:81 gal 2013:248 gal 2014: 329.5 gal 2015:305 gal 2016:316 gal 2017:258 gal 2018:147 gal 2019:91 gal
    Tapping the same trees my great, great and great grandfathers tapped.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Potsdam in far northern New York


    I have a small parcel of sugar maples that floods every spring. It will stand 3" or 4" deep with spring melt and remain flooded for as long as two weeks. I used to worry about the trees, but I recognize that they planted themselves, and grow bigger every year. I have 45 taps in there and thy produce well.

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