There is a flurry of upcoming maple programming and events to consider.
Of course, the International Maple Conference just concluded up in Lacrosse, Wisconsin held over the latter part of last week and weekend.
Next weekend, the Ohio Maple Producers Association are convening for a great line-up of food, fellowship, tours, and syrup contests. Dates are Nov 4-5 and additional details can be found here.
Just a few days after, Seldom Seen Farm will host a Woodland Wednesday program from 4:00-7:00 PM on November 9th. In collaboration with Geauga Soil and Water Conservation District, Geauga County Farm Bureau, NRCS, and host Seldom Seen Farm, speakers will discuss the relationship between modern forestry and the maple industry. Specific topics will include thinning, tree crown development, soil conditions, and maple tubing in the sugarbush. All are welcome to this free outdoor event that will benefit the landowner and woodsman alike. Please RSVP to Kevin Holy at 440-596-9717 or via email (email@example.com).
Lake Erie Maple Expo, the following weekend of November 11 and 12, will host its usual showcase of vendors, talks, and all and everything else maple.
Completing the first half of November flurry, Penn State Extension Educator Brian Walsh will discuss what is known about the spotted lanternfly and observations about maple trees that provide insight as to the impact the insect could have on the industry. Pennsylvania has endured a longer stint of spotted lanternfly infestation than Ohio, and we can learn more about what to potentially expect by seeing what has been learned by our neighbors to the east. Register for the November 16 – 10:00 AM webinar here.
Please join us on December 9th and 10th for a great line-up of workshops, socials, and seminars at this year’s Ohio Maple Days. Registration is available at the Woodland Stewards website. Saturday has a packed agenda of research talks, seminars, vendor displays, and down time to enjoy meals engaging with fellow maple enthusiasts.
Preceding Saturday, Friday will feature a half-day business planning workshop with Dr. Mark Cannella (ad below) followed by a banquet and social with maple-themed entrees, drinks, and cocktails galore (buy tickets here!). Registration for each event is separate, so don’t miss out a great 2-day package of maple education and fun.
Shortly after the 2022 Maple Boot Camp concluded, we hosted a dedicated workshop for ODNR’s State Service Foresters. To find out who is your local forester, click here and consult the district map and contact list.
To learn more about ODNR’s State Service Foresters, visit their website here.
The goal of the workshop was 2-fold. First and foremost, goal #1 was to educate and work with Ohio’s forester community around the topic of maple. Maple gets mentioned a lot at professional conferences, workshops, seminars, and in day-to-day interactions; however, mentions are most often just in passing. Therefore, having a dedicated full day to talk only about maple as it pertains to sugaring potential was an absolute treat. And it was extremely well received. Everyone in attendance, which was well over half of the Service Foresters statewide, left with an enhanced knowledge of maple and increased level of comfort and ease to speak with landowners about the non-timber maple opportunities.
Goal #2 was to introduce a maple toolbox for foresters and other natural resource professionals. This is a collaborative project that is still a work in-progress; however, it is puts actual tools in trained hands to assess maple woods for sugaring potential. High level site assessments and fine-scale granular inventories, resource lists to get connected within the state’s maple vendor and contractor community, basic information about maple pests and identification, and more. The toolbox empowers our state forester community to be advocates for maple while they are out doing their job and interacting with Ohio woodland owners. As the toolbox hits full stride, we are excited to share its impact and reach!
We hosted Maple Boot Camp at Ohio State Mansfield on June 22-24. Carri Jagger, Thomas deHaas, and Kathy Smith pulled this post together for the Buckeye Yard & Garden Online blog.
We cannot hold events of this quality without a lot of help and support. A big thanks to Carri and Kathy, Mike Lynch from CDL, Mike Hogan of OSU Extension, Sayeed Mehmood, Les Ober, Mike Rechlin, Kate Fotos, and Mike Lucero. I hope I am not forgetting anyone. And an especially huge thanks to the Brown family at Bonhomie Acres and Stan Hess for opening up their operations for tours and interfacing with Boot Camp attendees.
Here are a sprinkling of photos to supplement what you’ll see at the linked write-up above.
Thomas deHaas wrote up this post earlier in 2022 about the Kelleys Island sugaring operation – I think you’ll find it interesting!
The Ohio State Maple Store is back in stock. Our 2022 syrup inventory has officially hit the shelves, and you can place your order here.
Glass half pints and jug pints, quarts, and half gallons are available. Orders can be shipped to your door (extra fee) or picked up at the Franklin County Extension Office off Kenny Road in Columbus or from Riedl Hall on Ohio State Mansfield campus in Richland County.
We are so appreciative of the support everyone has shown in purchasing syrup. Thanks to your purchases, we have employed 5 different students working field-based experiential jobs just this calendar year alone. One full-time student and 2 part-timers during our 2022 maple research season, and 2 additional full-time positions that just recently completed summer fellowships.
There’s a mainline hiding under there somewhere!
Many Ohio producers experienced damage – some slight and others major – during the derecho that sliced through our state overnight on June 13th. At the Ohio State Mansfield sugarbush, we thankfully escaped what I would call major damage, but the storm did knock down 30 or 40 trees throughout our woods.
As temperatures start to cool in another month, I hope to get most of the clean-up work done before the crunch of late fall turns into New Year’s panic with the 2023 season breathing down our neck. For woods like ours, 2 or 3 days of cutting should clear most of the damage. For others however, hard decisions are being made as the devastation was on a tragic scale. I recently spent a couple hours in the historic Malabar Farms sugar woods and could not believe my eyes. Unfortunately, their scenario is not an isolated one.
Whatever your circumstance, be safe out there as you tackle storm damage. Downed and twisted trees are unpredictable. If in doubt, don’t. Don’t be afraid to hire an expert. Always work with a partner. Always wear your PPE. Work with sharp saws. Document your losses, you may find that damages can be leveraged as a tax reduction claim.
And most of all – BE SAFE!!
The Third edition of the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual is now available for download! To view the new edition and download an e-copy, simply send a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org and you will receive a link to the 434-page Manual.
Hard copies will be available for purchase soon.
Maple Bootcamp: Ohio is for woodland owners looking for an annual income from their woodland or current producers looking to sharpen their skills. This multi-day workshop will cover everything from tree identification and tree health through tapping and marketing an end product (syrup, candy etc). There will be tours of a sugarbush that has been in operation for more than 50 years and one that takes advantage of today’s technology. We will also tour the sugarbush that was installed on the Ohio State University Mansfield campus in 2019 and is a hub for maple research. Join us June 22-24 for this exciting event.
Registration is $150 total for the 3-day camp. Sign up here and check out the agenda for more details.
Join Future Generations University’s Out of the Woods webinar series this Thursday evening at 7 PM to hear Dr. Abby van den Berg’s talk “Total Yields from Red Maple Trees.” Red maple trees are sometimes ignored as crop trees for maple production due to several persistent beliefs, including that they produce lower yields than sugar maple trees. This study quantified the total annual yields from red maple trees to examine this belief empirically. This talk was captured as part of the Southern Syrup Research Symposium. Here in Ohio, we were lucky to have Abby speak in December’s Ohio Maple Days event as well on the same topic.
The Southern Syrup Research Symposium was made possible with support from a 2017 Acer Access project titled “Expanding the Maple Industry in West Virginia and the Central Appalachian Region through Research and Education” awarded to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in partnership with WVU & Future Generations University.