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Thread: Sap yields 2022 on different parts of sugarbush

  1. #1
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    Default Sap yields 2022 on different parts of sugarbush

    My sugarbush has 5 different portions, and I recorded the amount of sap and sap per tap on each one. Interesting results. The portions are all a little different from each other but 4 are on the same property, one is 1/2 mile away.

    Part 1 - yard trees, 9 taps, small to medium sugar maples. 25 to 50 years old with full crowns, good sun exposure. They were tapped later than most and quit running earlier. Did not produce much sap in the prolonged thaw periods. Zero vacuum. 54 gallons of sap, 6 gallons of sap per tap.

    Part 2 - 85 taps, all red maples, small to medium size. Located in woods that I am slowly thinning. Crowns are limited in size. About half on a 3/4" mainline with 5/16 laterals, the other half on two runs of 3/16 tubing. Average vacuum high teens. 698 gallons sap, 8.1 gal per tap

    Part 3 - 13 taps, all sugar maples, 3/16 tubing natural vacuum, only about 8-10; of drop. Mostly small size, average diameter maybe 14". Located on field perimeter, along road or woods. Good crowns. Average vacuum around 6-8". 158 gallons of sap, 12.5 gal per tap.

    Part 4 - 111 taps, 90% red maples, 10% sugar maples. Most of the sugar maples are mature, possibly 100 years old, with good crowns. Two are enormous trees. The reds are spread out in a woods/swampy area that is being thinned slowly, crowns are limited. Small to medium diameters. Average vacuum 20-24", 6 runs of 3/16 tubing. 1433 gallons sap, 12.9 gal per tap.

    Part 5 - 45 taps, all mature sugar maples along a roadside, probably 100 years old. Medium to large size. Two runs of 3/16" tubing on opposite sides of the road, natural vacuum. Drop about 20', average vacuum about 8-10". 850 gallons of sap, 18.9 gal per tap. Wish all of mine were like this and on high vacuum....

    So in my case, looks like the way to get more sap is to find better trees! Or hope that thinning helps, eventually. I did not get more sap on trees with highest vacuum, I got more sap on the bigger trees. I made 56 gallons of syrup from the 3100 gallons of sap so sugar content wasn't great. I'm thinking the biggest factor on syrup yield is tree and crown size not red vs. sugar maples. Weather too maybe.

    Dave
    Mountain Maple farm
    2021: 260 taps, 70% red maples. Mountain Maple S4 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer and text messaging
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Neat! One of the reasons I do maple is for "studying" like this. It sure isn't for the money! And its not even for the syrup per se. You can just buy that.
    Its for the learning, and for the getting outside, and also the family time and neighbor interaction, though neither of those have gone quite as planned yet.

    I had similar results, though I don't have numbers handy.
    All taps were 5/16" tubing drops into 5 gallon pails (one pail per tree). All trees are suburban yard trees with good exposure and crowns, and all are within the same acre.
    One sugar maple is about 27 inches diameter. Did two taps in it, and had excellent sap yield.
    But the other sugar maple was much MUCH bigger than that and had crazy sap yield... I suspect near the 18.9 you were getting on your big ones. I only did 2 taps in that one as well although it is probably big enough for 5 or more traditional buckets. I plan to be very kind to the neighborhood trees.
    The other trees were norways. They yielded much less sap than the sugars, but the tree size versus yield followed your patterns (that size of the tree matters big time). But, keep in mind, this is only my second year, and my very first year tapping more than one tree.

    One major factor you don't cite though... sugar content. That's important. Arguably more important than actual sap yield per tap. Maybe.
    I think you're onto something with the trees being one of the biggest factors! Perhaps the only one bigger is weather.
    Both are hard to do much about, but both can be controlled to some extent.

    For example, if you live in Florida, the weather is terrible for sugaring. This may seem impossible to fix, but its actually easy... just move to the northeast!
    The solution to bad trees is similar I guess. :-)

    I'm going to say more about my norway maple results in another post soon. I'm hoping the new Producers Manual has more to say about norway maples (and its red-headed sibling, the crimson king) than the current edition since so many more folks are doing urban and suburban sugaring.

    Andy

  3. #3
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    Tree size has a major impact on both sap yield and sugar content, and thus on syrup yield.

    https://mapleresearch.org/pub/treesize-2/ for a recent article on this...or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wWm...index=12&t=76s for the video
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 05-16-2022 at 11:51 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy VT View Post
    I'm hoping the new Producers Manual has more to say about norway maples (and its red-headed sibling, the crimson king) than the current edition since so many more folks are doing urban and suburban sugaring.
    Sorry to disappoint, but the NAMSPM 3rd edition will not add anything new on Norway or Crimson King. There has been no additional research to support an expanded discourse.

    There is a figure devoted to tree size and yield, and more text on that subject.

    On the subject of the upcoming manual, we received proofs last week. It's getting closer....
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Tree size has a major impact on both sap yield and sugar content, and thus on syrup yield.

    https://mapleresearch.org/pub/treesize-2/ for a recent article on this...or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wWm...index=12&t=76s for the video
    Thanks for that! I read it in full. One thing that I'm not quite clear on from the article is how the number of taps on the tree factors into this. One Vermont sugarmaker told me that with vacuum systems, you do just one tap per tree regardless of tree size. Is this article assuming that?

    Of course with traditional buckets or drops to buckets one generally has more taps on a larger tree and fewer on a smaller tree, and I wonder if the relationship for size and production is still linear in that case. I suppose the net is the same... bigger tree, much more sap and much more sugar. This knowledge will definitely affect how I prioritize which quarter-acre-lot neighbors to approach (among many other factors) for my suburban sugaring "operation".

    Andy

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy VT View Post
    One thing that I'm not quite clear on from the article is how the number of taps on the tree factors into this. One Vermont sugarmaker told me that with vacuum systems, you do just one tap per tree regardless of tree size. Is this article assuming that?
    Those results are for high vacuum with one tap per tree. Although the trends look linear, there is actually a point (about 18-20" dbh) where the trend starts to drop off from being linear. This is due to the fact that a single taphole cannot always remove all the sap from the tree, especially during short sap runs (typical of early season). Late in the season, when sap runs tend to be long, the trend is linear.

    The point at which it makes sense to put in a second tap depends upon (size obviously), but also vacuum level. The higher the vacuum level the higher the tree size at which it makes sense to put in a second tap. With really high vacuum (25+" Hg), it is probably marginal in most cases to put in a second tap. With lower vacuum and with gravity collection, adding a second tap makes more (economic) sense at a lower dbh, however that also comes with the cost of added wounding. We just finished a 4-year study this spring looking at 1 vs 2 taps on high vacuum in red maple and in sugar maple, and expect to publish those findings sometime in the next year.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
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    That's very helpful, thanks! This makes me very much look forward to the new Producers Manual as I consider all the research that must have been completed from 2006 until now!

    About the Norway Maple thing and the Producers Manual... makes sense that it doesn't add anything on this tree, but could it at least make mention that the Norway Maple tree is invasive in North America and should not be planted anymore? And that this includes the Crimson King? From the 2006 wording, one could take away that it would be a desirable tree to plant today. Word is getting out but I believe some nurseries may still carry these trees. The manual should set the tone there based on current knowledge.

    I think the arborist consensus on norways and crimsons in North America (I should be checked on this but surely research exists) is that it is fine to maintain mature existing trees in urban and suburban settings but don't let any new trees establish themselves, which they do rather aggressively, and definitely don't purposely plant them. But on those existing trees, definitely hang sap buckets! (But I have found arborist webpages that claim norways cannot be tapped for syrup making, which of course is not true).

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