A Great Maple Syrup Research Compendium

by Tig Tillinghast

Back in 1982, the Northeastern Forest Experiment Station put together a large series of studies into one document to help sugar makers employ some of the more interesting recent findings. That document is available here.

Some highlights:

– A good deal of what we know (which is still pretty incomplete) about how and why sap flows

– Optimal tapping studies, including depth and placement

– Paraformaldehyde pros and (mostly) cons

– Basics of sap collection, including piping and vacuum mechanics

– Sugarbush management

– Forestry elements, such as optimal stocking

– Some very extensive bibliography information on lots of additional research

– A look at learnings about maple tree genetics and reproduction (still pretty rudimentary)

– Costs and economics of sugaring, including analysis of buckets versus lines

– Wood versus oil and gas

– Use of preheaters

– Employing baffles under flue pans

– Alternative evaporator designs, like vapor compression and tubular evaporator pans

– Marketing maple syrup

– Maple syrup grading history and differences between jurisdictions

– Consumer attitudes (perhaps a little dated) on maple syrup

– Review of older container options