Cornell Corner


Bleaching and double-tapping part of maple tubing trials on 5/16 lines from Cornell

Steve Childs, New York State Maple Specialist | July 13, 2020

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—During the 2020 maple season five treatments were tested on 5/16 lines at the Arnot Forest Research Forest.

Each treatment was repeated 4 times in the Arnot Forest sugar bush and each of these replications had four taps on a single lateral line.

The first sap runs were recorded on February 1 and the last reading was recorded on March 30.

The treatment used as a check used old spouts and drops where the drop has been used for 8 years and the spout has been in use for 5 years.

Lines had been vacuumed dry at the end of previous seasons when the taps were pulled but received no other cleaning.

The second check for standard comparison is new drops and spouts while the lateral lines were not replaced.

This year the old system yielded 26.1 gallons of sap per tap while the all new spouts and drop system yielded 40.7 gallons of sap per tap representing an increase of 14.6 more gallons of sap per tap. MORE ]


Double-tapping trees might yield results, say Cornell researchers

Kara Lynn Dunn, Northern NY Agricultural Development Program | June 15, 2020

LAKE PLACID, N.Y.—Retapping trees could result in 20 percent more sap.

“Recent projects that looked at the optimum time for tapping maple trees indicated that early tapping to capture early season sap runs and re-tapping later in the season could have potential to increase syrup production yields by at least 20 percent or a $6 per tap profit increase,” said Adam D. Wild, director of Cornell University’s Uihlein Maple Research Center.

This season Wild is conducting trials to test the feasibility of re-tapping maple trees during the sap season. His research is funded by the farmer-driven Northern New York Agricultural Development Program (NNYADP), which is helping regional maple producers evaluate and add opportunities to increase sap and syrup production.

Sugarmakers shouldn’t rush out to re-drill trees just yet. Wild said the feasibility of the method needs more data, which he hopes to collect and publish this spring.


Mid-Winter Classic Maple Show this weekend

Peter Gregg | January 2, 2020

SYRACUSE, N.Y.—This year’s Mid-Winter Maple Classic will take place on tomorrow and Saturday, January 3 and 4 at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. It's the biggest maple trade show of the year and typically draws more than 1,000 sugarmakers, venders and educators.

This is the second year the conference will be held at this location which offers a large space to fit the entire trade show, and meeting rooms that can accommodate larger audiences.

The day-and-a-half event will be hosted by the New York Maple Producers Association in conjunction with the New York FFA Alumni Association and Cornell Maple Program. The conference will follow a similar format as previous years.


It could be the T's

Stephen Childs, NYS Maple Specialist | November 7, 2019

ITHACA, N.Y.—The results of tests conducted in the 2019 sap season at the Cornell Arnot Forest has clarified one important question: Why do we experience yield loss with 3/16th tubing after the first year?

This was the fourth season where experiments were run using 3/16 tubing with true 3/16 fittings and Ts.

A variety of different combinations of spouts, drops and cleaning methods were tested, but in each case the age of the T was the primary yield controlling factor while the method of tap hole sanitation used in the test was secondary. MORE ]


Maple kombucha could be a next big thing

Ailis Clyne, Cornell Maple Program | September 6, 2019

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—Kombucha is the new health beverage craze that is sweeping the nation, and the newest value-added opportunity for maple producers.
Market research suggests a growth rate of 23 percent reaching a market worth of up to $5.45 billion by 2025.
Yet, no big players are brewing with maple.
Kombucha is so new on the scene that much of its growth is attributed to the development of new flavors.
At the Arnot Research Forest, part of the Cornell Maple Program at Cornell University, we have experimented with and fine-tuned a process for brewing kombucha with maple syrup and the results have gotten overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Kombucha is a refreshing, bubbly drink made by fermenting sweet tea. MORE ]


Making maple wine can be a new way to profits

Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program Extension Associate | August 13, 2019

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—Maple syrup can be diluted and fermented to create a pleasant, full-bodied wine with elegant structure and great maple character.
However, without proper materials and technique, it is easy to make a poor quality wine that is bitter, astringent or sickly sweet.
This winter, the Cornell Maple Program worked with undergraduates at Cornell University to create guidelines for high-quality maple wine production.
Traditional wines are created through the fermentation of grape juice sugars by specialized yeasts. This ancient industry has seen a surge in growth in recent decades.
The New York State wine industry alone now generates over $4.5 billion in annual economic activity. An increased interest in domestic wines creates an opportunity for non-traditional wines produced with alternative sugars.
With maple wine, maple producers can tap this lucrative and expanding market. MORE ]


Get it bubbling

Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program Extension Associate | July 7, 2019

VAN ETTEN, N.Y.—Dissolved oxygen levels have a significant impact on syrup grade and flavor, especially in late-season sap.

This season, we found that boosting oxygen levels in sap with a bubbler makes darker syrup with a stronger maple flavor.

In late season saps, the flavor improvement due to bubbler-aeration was significant enough to improve an off-flavored syrup to a dark, table-grade syrup.

Many factors affect the grade and flavor of maple syrup.

One of the lesser known variables impacting syrup quality is the level of dissolved oxygen in sap. MORE ]


Does taphole sanitation pay off?

Stephen Childs and Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program | July 8, 2019

ITHACA, N.Y.—Does extra attention to your tubing and taphole sanitation pay off?

During the 2019 maple season the Cornell Maple Program conducted a number of trials on 5/16 tubing looking at a variety of tubing options for taphole sanitation and tapping.

This year the first sap yield measurements were taken on February 8 and the last measurements on April 10.

We compared several new variations to our set-up of old spouts and drops where the dropline has been used for 7 years and the spout has been in use for 4 years. They have been vacuumed dry at the end of each season when the taps are pulled but receive no other cleaning.

The second check for standard comparison is completely new laterals, drops and spouts for a completely new system. MORE ]