New discovery about maple sap could revolutionize syrup industry




Will that tree be able to recover before the next year's sap harvest, or will it be out of rotation for a number of seasons? I hope someone has been studying the long term effects on the tree. I find it hard to believe this is the first time someone's had the bright idea to hook up a pump -- I can just imagine a bunch of old timers hearing this and say "yup -- that's a sure fire way to kill the tree. Chester tried that back in the 30's and lost everything".


“We got to the point where we should have exhausted any water that was in the tree, but the moisture didn’t drop,” says Perkins. “The only explanation was that we were pulling water out of the ground, right up through and out the stem.”

I worry at some point that you're going to start ending up with some pretty watered-down sap. I guess you can always thicken it later, right?


Does that mean inexpensive maple sugar candy?
I guess that my new nickname will be Gummy, 'cause my teef will be rottin` out o me noggin.


I loves me some maple syrup on pancakes and/or sausage. But thinking about sap-producing trees/plants reminded me of Thomas Disch's very depressing book "The Genocides" which is enough to put me off my breakfast.

Just thought I'd share smile


If this means getting real maple syrup at a non-insane price, go for it.

Though I am concerned about the long term effects. I imagine that the saplings aren't going to be the healthiest things in the forest, and will need to be replaced frequently, thus soil depletion.


This is a sapling, so it's only a year or two old. It's safe to assume that the tree is killed by cutting off its head. So what? Grow more saplings for next year! The point is that maturity is wasted on (some) food sources.


Perhaps they can do the same thing with mature trees but just lop off the end of some branches?


If we cut this goose open we're going to get a shitload of golden eggs, right?


I worry at some point that you're going to start ending up with some pretty watered-down sap. I guess you can always thicken it later, right?

Have you ever seen the process of making maple syrup? The sap is basically water to start with, and the boil-down process is what "thickens it up". I don't think anything really changes here.


Wow, if only this were covered in the article.



But then they wouldn't tale advantage of the increased density of plots using only decapitated saplings.


Would you rather look upon a forest of mature trees or gaze across a wasted landscape of high-yield sapling stumps? WTF, humans? We're determined to create a world not worth being in, but hey, at least we have Xbox.


Excellent. The last hurdle to Vermont independence has been crossed.

Go Big Maple!


The crowning-and-sucking saplings method seems extraordinarily labour intensive.


I knew they thickened it, but not how very thin it was to begin with. Interesting!


That's exactly why I can't drive through nebraska. Disgusting farmers, planting row after row of hideous, food-bearing plants.

Then they just sit in their tractors, driving back and forth for hours, playing Xbox.


I think it might actually be comparable to drilling and tapping mature trees. They're using the same plastic tubing, plus a bag end attachment and a hose-clamp. At that thickness a good saw will top that tree in about three strokes.


High fructose corn syrup doesn't just use itself, you know.


When's the last time you gazed out upon a grove of syrup-producing maple trees? For most of us, that's sometime between seldom and never. Also, with 10x productivity per acre, we could return 9/10 of the land now given over to syrup production back to some other use, such as public open-space forest. Or we could produce 10x the maple syrup and have syrup so cheap we could, I dunno, afford it or something.