At the biggest maple producer conference in North America, the NYS Maple Producers Association Winter meeting at the Veron Verona Sherill School, the woodlot/sugarbush management seminars were recorded as webinars to make them available to a broader audience. This was a bit of an experiment, and we learned a few tricks, but also have something to share.
Following are the titles, links to the recording, and bit of a terse summary of the presentation. Further down I share what I learned in hopes that by writing it I won't repeat the mistakes.
Session 1. Working with foresters. (click here for recording) Presented by Dave Skeval, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Onondaga County. There are a couple different types of foresters available to assist the management needs of maple producers. Many foresters have some personal experience with maple production, though maple production is not standard training in most college forestry programs. Foresters can provide a range of services. A lengthy discussion followed.
Session 2. Improving maple sap through management: thinning helps. (click here for recording) Presented by Peter Smallidge, Cornell University Cooperative Extension, State Extension Forester. Cornell’s sugarbush thinning project has documented increased growth and favorable sap sugar response following cutting. This presentation covered the basic principles of why and how to thin your sugarbush. A review of the sugarbush thinning research describes the project and research results. Questions followed.
Session 3. What forest pests pester trees. (no recording available) Presented by J. Rebecca Hargrave, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Chenango County. (note - The system disconnected at the beginning, and when I reconnected I neglected to turn on Rebecca's microphone. Fortunately she is giving this presentation on March 21 via the ForestConnect webinar series. see details here). DESCRIPTION - Pests are a special type of stress in the life of a tree. Different types of pests can impact foliage, roots, stems, and fruits. Each pest type has special characteriestics that determine how it is able to impact trees and the types of management strategies that can control those pests. This webinar will evaluate the biological effects of different types of pests (insect and fungal) on trees, and review common stresses, pests, and new potential threats.
Session 4. Energy lease considerations for maple producers. (click here for recording) Presented by Brett Chedzoy, Cornell University Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County / South Central Ag Team. Many maple producers have large land holdings, and are interested in how they might benefit from and be impacted by the potential gas well development or wind energy. This is a complicated issue that warrants consideration of many factors. If a lease is pursued, there are several considerations for the owners to reduce the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome. Discussion of gas leasing land owner cooperatives are discussed.
What to do differently next time:
1. Expand the share pod to the full size. In the room we made the pod "full screen," but that only affected our screen.
2. Make sure the recording button is toggled on.
3. Make sure the microphone button is toggled on.
My thanks to the speakers for being good sports, and good experimental subjects.