Cornell Corner


Cornell touts new maple marshmallows recipes

Catherine Belisle, Ph.D. and Ailis Clyne | January 6, 2023



Quarter inch tubing showing promising early results

Adam Donald Wild | May 11, 2022

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Quarter inch tubing is showing promising early results in our latest research, getting high vacuum on gravity and potentially less likely to plug than 3/16ths tubing.

The use of 3/16” diameter tubing still remains a great option in gravity sap collection systems where the smaller inner diameter of 3/16” tubing allows a full column of sap to form through capillary action.

When the weight of the full column of sap drops in elevation, natural vacuum is achieved if the tubing is airtight.

When applied in a natural gravity system, under appropriate topographical conditions, 3/16” tubing can achieve maximum potential vacuum (often better than a vacuum pump) and even has capabilities to pull sap up and over a hill.

This maximum yield is achieved without the need for high priced vacuum pumps, energy input to run a pump, and 3/16” diameter tubing is cheaper to install.

However, recent research shows that sap production in 3/16” tubing drops off as soon as the second year after installation due to microbial growth. MORE ]


Cornell's Aaron Wightman to give free seminar at Hoover Maple in Branchport, N.Y.

Peter Gregg | December 9, 2021

BRANCHPORT, N.Y.—Cornell Maple Program director Aaron Wightman will be giving a free seminar at Hoover Maple Supplies on Friday.

Wightman will begin his talks at 10:00 a.m. and will cover the following:

—gypsy moths and how to manage your sugarbush for resilience against forest pests

—tubing sanitation and maintaining production in 3/16" lines

—tips for top quality, high flavor syrup

—new product development MORE ]


Cornell opens new state-of-the-art maple facility

Peter Gregg | August 12, 2021

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—The doors are open on a new state-of-the-art maple research facility for the Cornell Maple Program.

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) last month held a grand opening of the newly rebuilt Arnot Maple Research and Teaching Laboratory, which will house the first-of-its-kind new maple product development lab in the country.

Funded through $500,000 from the state budget, the laboratory is expected to foster further growth and innovation in New York’s maple industry.

The brand new 4,200-square-foot facility includes a new commercial kitchen and increased capacity for research and development of new maple products.

“Cornell’s Arnot Maple Research and Teaching facility conducts groundbreaking research that is critical to the growth of our state’s maple industry, which contributes significantly to the state’s ag economy,” said state agriculture commissioner Richard Ball. MORE ]


5/16 vs. 3/16 no clear winner

Paul Post | May 26, 2021

SHREWSBURY, Vt.—There’s a great deal of debate and no clear consensus among sugarmakers about the benefits of 5/16-inch versus 3/16-inch tubing.

One sure thing with either system is it's absolutely essential to keep tapholes free of bacteria and yeast, which build up and reduce sap flow, resulting in lost production and revenue.

In a recent webinar, New York State Maple Specialist and Cornell Maple Program Director Aaron Wightman outlined extensive sanitation research for both types of tubing to help producers enjoy the full rewards of all their hard work and effort.

He was joined by sugarmaker Arthur Krueger of Krueger-Norton Sugarhouse in Shrewsbury, Vt. and a noted 3/16 tubing pioneer.

The trials Wightman described were conducted at Cornell’s two 7,500-tap research sugarbushes at the Arnot Forest near Ithaca, N.Y. and at Uihlein Center in Lake Placid, N.Y.

“We aren’t just doing our research in a Petri dish,” Wightman said. “A lot of these treatments we’ve tried on thousands of trees. These aren't hypothetical research concepts. We’ve actually tried them on a large-scale, commercial setting. So we have that experience to back up the evidence.” MORE ]


Maximum sap 101

Paul Post | February 10, 2021

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—More taps doesn’t necessarily mean more sap.

Some factors such as climate, elevation, tree health and size, and surrounding species composition are beyond a sugarmaker’s control.

But understanding how they impact production, and learning how to work with them, can prove quite beneficial.

This plus adhering to good tapping practices and having a well-designed system is the perfect recipe for a smooth-running, efficient and profitable operation, said Adam Wild, director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Center in Lake Placid, N.Y. during a maple seminar last month.

Wild’s webinar, “Maximizing Production in Your Sap Collection System” was the sixth and final segment of an online introductory course for new and beginning sugarmakers.

However, the session had valuable reminders for veteran maple producers as well.

“Not every sugarbush has equal production potential,” Wild said. “If you’re not producing as much as you think you can I’m sure there’s lots of room to increase production. This is going to differ from region to region, state to state, but also can change locally.”



Making bucks from the buddy

Aaron Wightman | January 7, 2021

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—Does buddy syrup have potential high-value uses?

That is the subject of a new research project at Cornell University, where maple specialists are investigating a wide range of value-added options for this much maligned, late-season flavor.

Maple trees enter a period of dormancy at the end of each growing season.

This is an adaptation that allows trees to survive the cold of winter. An important aspect of that survival strategy is the management of energy reserves in the form of sugars and starches. MORE ]


Making sugar in a vacuum

Aaron Wightman | December 15, 2020