Suckers for Sap

For centuries, maple syrup producers across New England and Canada harvested sap by drilling into the bark of fully grown wild trees. While commercial syrup producers have adopted vacuum pumps and plastic tubing to aid these efforts, recent experiments at the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center may further pull the industry from its pastoral roots. By vacuum-sucking sap directly from the cut tops of juvenile trees, the researchers increased syrup production 5 to 6 times per acre compared to the traditional sap collecting methods.


Produced by Luke Groskin
Music by Audio Network
Additional Video and Stills by Kieth Silva -© Across the Fence
Abby van den Berg, Mark Isselhardt
Shutterstock, Leonora Enking, Ben Ramirez, Sally McCay, Jim Hood, Kevstan

Meet the Producer

About Luke Groskin

Luke Groskin is Science Friday’s video producer. He’s on a mission to make you love spiders and other odd creatures.