Joyce Kilmer wrote that, “….only God can make a tree.” But, did you know that scientists can help God make trees with increased benefits?
Take the example of Cornell University and Sugar Maples. For four decades, the legendary university has studied thousands of the sugary sap producers to find whether genetics, environment or a combination of both could produce dependable, stellar syrup production. The result is the Cornell 'Super Sweet' Sugar Maple from the University's Sugar Maple Improvement Program.
The scientists knew that environmental conditions are crucial. For example, open grown trees produce more sap sugar content. But, what impact does genetics play? The scientists decided to use cloned trees, which would both produce identical offspring and yield seed in a fraction of the time required by a tree produced from seed. Both grafted and rooted maple clones were grown.
In time, scientists took seeds from the cloned “sweet” trees and grew seedlings, in carefully controlled progeny tests. When the progeny trees were about seven years old, the scientists tapped their sap and found that, indeed, it was possible to breed a sweeter maple!
Scientists at the Cornell Uihlein Sugar Maple Field Station selected the best trees from the progeny test to plant in the Lake Placid seed orchard. The plan was for this orchard to produce seed for select growers. Now, the long wait is over and maple farmers can choose a maple tree for production that offers sweeter sap and greater production. And, through Forrest Keeling’s RPM Root Production Method, faster growth and better survival.
Contact Forrest Keeling for more information about availability and pricing of Cornell 'Super Sweet' Maples.