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Table of Contents >>  8.2 Nontimber Forest Products << 8.3 Maple Sugaring >> 8.4 Ecosystem Services as an Emerging Market



Sap production in a sugarbush relies on developing and maintaining large, spreading crowns in maple trees.

A sugarbush, or sugar orchard, is a stand of maple trees tapped for maple syrup. Sugarbushes can become overcrowded and tree vigor and sap production can decline. Maple trees rarely develop large, spreading crowns naturally in the competitive forest setting. To achieve such crowns, the tops of maples must be released through thinnings and improvement cuts—preferably throughout all stages of development. Often sap-producing maples growing in a mixed forest compete with other maples and with other kinds of trees. Overcrowding and competition for light and other resources negatively affect sugar content and sap volume and reduce stand vigor.


Manage existing maples in sugarbushes to have large, spreading crowns. Regenerate maples to replace declining or overmature maples. Tap maple trees so tree health and vigor won't be adversely affected, and so the market value of the upper logs won't be compromised.




2.2 Forest Structure; 2.3 Regeneration Methods; 2.4 Managing for High-Value Trees; 5.1 Insects and Diseases; 5.3 Ice and Wind Damage; 5.4 Logging Damage.


Heiligmann, R.B., M.R. Koelling, T.D. Perkins. 2006. North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual: Second Edition. Ohio State University Extension, Columbus, Ohio. 329 p.

Houston, D. R., D. Allen, and D. Lachance. 1990. Sugarbush management: a guide to maintaining tree health. USDA For. Serv. Gen. Tech. Rep. NE-129. 55 p.

RSA 79. Forest Conservation and Taxation. http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/rsa/html/v/79/79-mrg.htm Accessed May 27, 2010.

8.2 Nontimber Forest Products << 8.3 Maple Sugaring >> 8.4 Ecosystem Services as an Emerging Market

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