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Letter: Maple sap is a gift

Yamile Craven questions the consequences of “stealing” sap from maple trees (Monitor letter, April 4). As a longtime maple producer and author of the history book, Maple Sugaring in New Hampshire, I can assure her that “stealing” sap from maple trees does no harm unless the trees are over-tapped. If too many holes are drilled each year, a tree may succumb early, but most maple producers know the consequence and don’t do it.

The scientists at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center have tested vacuum systems on their maple trees for many years and have found no detrimental effects. Collecting a few gallons of sap from a large tree is less harmful than an adult donating a pint of blood once a year. The tree quickly recovers the lost sap, just as we rebuild our blood supply. There are some maple trees in the state that have been tapped every year since George Washington was president, and they are enormous, healthy trees today. Tapping a maple tree conservatively does no harm. The sap is a gift, just as fruit from an apple tree is a gift.



Legacy Comments2

It appears that the "Save Everything Crowd" believes that tapping maple trees is just cruel. These are the same uninformed folks that believe doing a selective cut in the forest is raping trees and doing controlled burns harms the forests. Forestry is about preserving our natural resources folks. That task requires, thinnings, selective cuts, controlled burns and wildlife management. Doing nothing harms our forests. If your going to talk about tapping maple trees, at least know what your are talking about. Our Maple Trees in New England seem to be surviving just fine, and any business that produces maple syrup, would not be in that business if tapping maple trees kills them. That would make their business very short term.

Thank you Barbara for injecting facts and reason into this debate. Gee I wonder if - when they're done conspiring with the NH Dept. of Ed over dissection - if they'll take up the cause of the "raping of the maples?" LOL! Now that's funny right there, I don't care who you are. And I've been told recently that I need to "lighten up", "smile more" and be able to "laugh." Well I'm smilin' and laughin' now!

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