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Thread: sap sugar content

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    ns
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    35

    Default sap sugar content

    looking over last years sap report survey got me to wondering, what are the main contributors to the sugar content each year? it seems that even in the same general areas there was a large difference in the reporting.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,157

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    Some of what controls sap sugar content (SSC) is genetic, some is environmental. Genetics play a role in dictating the maximum SSC, and most environmental factors tend to reduce the level from there. So a tree that is genetically programmed to have a max of 3% SSC will essentially never produce 4%.

    Tree size and canopy position is a big factor...the more exposed the crown, the more light hits the leaves, the faster the photosynthetic engine runs, the more sugar is made and in the sap. Big dominant trees and open-grown trees tend to have the highest SSC.

    Time of season is important. In fall and winter, SSC tends to be low. In the spring it peaks, then falls off.

    Several studies have shown that nutrition is important. Again, it's a matter of the photosynthetic engine running well. Good nutrition is like high octane fuel.

    Then there is the matter of weather/climate/biological stresses. All are important, and as mentioned, if not optimal, tend to drive SSC downward. The relationships are not especially strong, but they are detectible. We have a nearly 40 yr record of SSC at PMRC, and have assembled a large dataset of different variables we think could affect SSC. I've spoken on it a few times at various meetings, but no PPT or video is available yet. Typically things like adequate moisture in the fall, winter and spring are good. Drought and delayed fall/winter cool temperatures are not good. More to come as we dig deeper into the data.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
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    Mar 2016
    Location
    ns
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    35

    Default

    thanks Dr. Tim.
    i always understood the tree size and canopy played a large roll, but i guese there are a lot of other factors that we just don't have that much more control over that matters.

    i also now know why some of my trees i tap have never produced, genetics, it just not in their genes.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Is there a difference in sugar maples from different areas? As in VT, vs. CT, vs. WI, ??? does elevation make a difference? I know there are really too many variables to scientifically compare, no two maples are the same, but I hear a lot about ssc in VT being higher than southern CT (where I am). Although most of my trees have been in wooded areas and have smaller canopies, and last I checked, ssc = 1.5-2.0 brix, I will be expanding to include maples with more space and canopies this year, and hope they have a higher ssc.
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - planning on expanding to 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - goal = 10 gal of syrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,684

    Default

    Genetics play a big part, but canopy likely has more of an influence on SSC.
    Dave Klish about 400 taps, down from much more. Will hold about the same for 2021
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,035

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    All I know is I see these reports of 2.5-3% and higher. Most years I average 1.5-1.6% and occasionally see a few days of 2%, if I ever saw anything over 2% I might faint or look for an empty sugar bag .....surely someone would be messing with me. I hope Those who have 2.5% and higher realize how blessed they are.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    ontario
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Great question.It seems hot sunny weather in the summer should produce best.I bought a sap hydrometer
    and can hardly wait to check this year..one maple in particular that stands alone in my neighbours front yard.It is a
    solid six feet across and has a canopy bigger than the farm house.I only put 2 taps in it each year.I have taken over
    12 gallons of sap from this tree in one day. Two - 3 gallon pails overflowing at noon and again at 6 pm on one occasion.
    My neighbour wants me to put in 8 or 10 taps but i don't want to harm this tree in any way, shape or form and use 1/4" taps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    All I know is I see these reports of 2.5-3% and higher. Most years I average 1.5-1.6% and occasionally see a few days of 2%, if I ever saw anything over 2% I might faint or look for an empty sugar bag .....surely someone would be messing with me. I hope Those who have 2.5% and higher realize how blessed they are.
    Buckeye - I am in the same boat as you with ssc!!!
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - planning on expanding to 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - goal = 10 gal of syrup

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Southern NH
    Posts
    19

    Default

    I'm 90% reds with a few sugars on the roadside of our property. We have a stand of sugars behind my work we tap but every tree is new to my wife and I. We are hoping the sugars make up the difference this year. But our woods are crowded and need thinning. We hope to at least see 2% as a high
    2021- 125 taps on 3/16 gravity. New smokey lake 2x6 continues flow and new 12x16 sugar shack. Come on sugar season

    2020- 50 taps on gravity 11 gallons made. Had to end the season early due to family health issues

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    239

    Default

    You should switch out those 3 gallon pails to five gallon buckets.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

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