Producers worried about terrible looking trees

Peter Gregg | September 29, 2023

RUPERT, Vt.—It’s not your imagination. The trees look terrible this fall.

Many folks are noticing the horrible appearance of the leaves on the maples in many areas of the Northeast.

Trees have looked spotted and a dull yellowish brown.

UVM Extension maple expert Mark Isselhardt said in the past couple of weeks he’s been fielding phone calls from worried producers.

Isselhardt said there is nothing unusual going on. Trees are mostly done making their sugar as of July.

He blamed most of the situation on the extreme wet weather we've had in the Northeast this summer. MORE ]


Plan now to attend the Lake Erie Maple Expo

| September 14, 2023

ALBION, Pa.—The Lake Erie Maple Expo in Northwestern PA gives lots of learning opportunities and insight into the art of Maple Syrup.

The show will feature classes for the expert as well as for the hobbyist.

This year, producers will have five workshop topics to choose from.

A sample agenda for the Friday Workshops potentially includes;

● Maple Tubing Installation layout and design

● Maple Confections and Value Added Maple Products

● A Maple Workshop for Beginners

● Advanced Tubing & Vacuum


Seal up your sap collection tanks

Peter Gregg | July 11, 2023

SHELBURNE FALLS, Mass.—Sealing up the tanks makes for cleaner sap.

Hunter Sessions, 22, and father Criag Sessions of Winston’s Sugar House in Shelburne Falls, Mass. have sealed up thier sap collection tanks airtight.

“You try to keep the sap as clean as you can before you process it,” Craig Sessions said.

“You don't want it filling up with rainwater or any other contaminants in there.”

Hunter said the less particles or dirt in the tank, the better it is for the RO membranes. MORE ]


Vermont maple recognizes outstanding sugarmakers

| June 27, 2023

RICHFORD, Vt.—The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers’ Association (VMSMA) presented the 2023 Annual Maple Awards and announced winners of their first annual maple contest at their annual meeting held on Saturday.

Outstanding Sugar Maker Award was given to Cody Armstrong, of Randolph Center, Vt.

Armstrong represents the next generation of Vermont sugar makers by focusing on achieving high yields, producing high quality syrup, and contributing to the vitality of the Vermont maple industry, the VMSMA said.

Amstrong has also shown interest in supporting students interested in maple by volunteering at the Vermont FFA Maple Career Development Event and looks forward to mentoring the next generation of sugar makers. MORE ]


New from Leader + H20, Exactap tapping tool

Peter Gregg | June 27, 2023

SWANTON, Vt.—Leader + H20 has introduced a new tapping-assist tool.

New from Leader + H20 the Exactap tree tapping tool. It retails for $499. Available at all dealers for the upcoming season.

Currently the item has two fittings—one for a DeWalt drill and the other for a Milwaukee drill.

Designed to perfect and stabilize tap hole drilling.

Quick detach tool can be removed after the season and use the drill the rest of the year. MORE ]



Peter Gregg | May 2, 2023

RUPERT, Vt.—The season ended in a hurry at the Maple News Sugarhouse on Blossom Rd.

Our production tally ended up at 4.3 pounds per tap. Respectable, I guess.

I’m not sure I could've done much to make more.

My neighbor asked me that very question: "Is there anything you could’ve done to get more sap?"

The answer was "of course."

I could’ve spent every single day in the woods chasing leaks. Instead I was only up there a couple of times per week. Not enough.

I also let myself get satisfied with 27 inches of vacuum. The best sugarmakers I know are never satisfied with 27. They want 28 at the very least. 28.5 is even better.

And I’m not sure I trust my 27 reading anyway. MORE ]


Dealer open houses and Vt. Maple Festival this weekend

Peter Gregg | April 27, 2023

SWANTON, Vt.—The big maple equipment manufacturers will be hosting open houses this weekend in Franklin County, Vt. where producers can see demonstrations and seminars and enjoy big discounts on equipment orders for next season.

Multiple dealer open houses will be starting tomorrow morning and through Saturday afternoon, all within a few miles of each other in Franklin County, Vt.

Running at the same time will be the can’t-miss Vermont Maple Festival in St. Albans, Vt., which features maple exhibits, a grand parade.

Here is the website link to the festival: