Campus and Community

Reinventing Agriculture

University of Vermont

From the Forest to the Table: The Science of Maple Syrup Production

The University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Agricultural Experiment Station work with Vermont maple-syrup makers to improve the state’s signature crop. The innovative work of UVM’s Proctor Maple Research Center focuses on the sugar maple tree (Acer saccharum Marshall) and its products—sap and sugar. One broad area of research seeks to understand how best to increase sap yields while preserving the health of the maple trees. Other active experiments study effective means of sap extraction through changes in the equipment, tubing replacement, and cleaning of tubing systems.

UVM Extension staff members disseminated research to Vermont sugar-makers during workshops and other educational programs. Visitors learned about the many steps involved in turning sap from maple trees into delicious syrup, candies, and sugar; the relationship between UVM and Vermont communities; and the impact of maple syrup on local economies. They discovered the art and science of maple syrup production, the impact of climate change on our northern forests, and an appreciation for the hard work that goes into every bottle of pure Vermont maple syrup.

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