Cornell Corner


Tap hole sanitation research in the ’17 season

Stephen Childs and Aaron Wightman, Cornell Maple Program | Feb. 28, 2018

In 2017, 11 replicated maple tubing research plots were established at the Arnot Forest to provide information useful in identifying which methods of reducing microbial contamination of the tap hole are most effective and result in increased sap production. MORE ]


Working with little ROs for syrup production

Stephen Childs, New York State Maple Specialist | Oct. 12, 2017

One of the biggest drawbacks of making maple syrup for a back yarder or small maple producer is the time it takes to boil the sap into syrup. The idea of using a small reverse osmosis unit to assist with the syrup making is very interesting to many small maple producers.

There are many little reverse osmosis systems available for water purification in households or for small commercial applications. These can be purchased from a number of big box stores, home improvement stores or on line. These RO units can be used to remove water from sap to speed up the concentration and syrup boiling process. MORE ]


3/16” tubing results from Uihlein Forest

Michael Farrell | February 2017

There has been a lot of interest in 3/16” tubing systems over the past several years. Tim Wilmot’s research on this novel concept has caused a lot of producers to rethink how they install new tubing systems or potentially renovate their existing sugarbushes. Despite a lot of in-depth research reports and successful stories from sugarmakers who have used 3/16” systems, there still remains a lot of skepticism and questions among producers who are reluctant to switch away from 5/16” systems. It should be obvious that using 3/16” will always be better in a gravity based system, yet the answer when using vacuum pumps does not have a solid consensus. In 2016, we received funding from the Northern NY Agricultural Development Program to conduct research and extension on using 3/16” tubing systems under vacuum. This article describes our research results from the past year and outlines future directions.


Importance of focusing on syrup quality

Michael Farrell | Feb. 2016

I have been attending the board meetings of the International Maple Syrup Institute for the past several years. The agendas are always interesting and focus on a wide variety of topics of importance to the maple syrup industry, including many facets of marketing and promotion, misrepresentation of maple syrup in the marketplace, and ensuring product quality.


Research Update on Birch Sap & Syrup Trials

Michael Farrell | Jan. 2016

For the past several years we have been conducting research and extension on tapping birch trees for their sap and syrup production. This article presents some of the lessons learned to date and presents some basic answers to some of the most frequently asked questions with tapping birch trees, to the best of our current knowledge.


Planning for a sustainable future for U.S. maple

Michael Farrell | November 2015

The past ten years been a tremendous time for the entire maple industry. We have seen massive expansion in taps and the yields per tap have been steadily rising. Markets for syrup have been growing and prices have been relatively high and stable. However, we must also realize that much of our growth has come about due to wise investments made in the past. MORE ]


First international birch conference a success

Michael Farrell |

This past June nearly 70 current and potential birch sap and syrup producers from all over the world got together for 3 days at Paul Smiths College in the heart of the Adirondacks to network and share information. There were plenty of existing maple sugarmakers from the northeast who are already producing birch syrup or thinking of doing so along with birch sap and syrup producers from Alaska, nearly every Canadian province, eastern Europe and Russia. MORE ]


Some strategies to control American beech

Peter Smallidge |

American beech and many other native and non-native woody plants can dominate a woodland, exclude or limit the regeneration of desired plant species, and limit the biodiversity of the site. In high abundance, these species can complicate access for maple producers. Often these interfering species gain dominance because of selective deer browsing of desired plant species, and prolonged deer pressure can create a legacy effect that persists even if deer impacts are controlled.