New England is known for its vibrant kaleidoscope of Autumn color and tasty maple syrup. But how much do we really know about the iconic maple trees that bring joy to our eyes and stomachs?
This past summer, National Forest Foundation identified and engaged with a new partner, The Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University. NFF’s New England Program Manager, Sarah Stanley, joined the Museum of the White Mountains back in August to moderate The State of Maple panel discussion, a riveting conversation between panelists who bring a unique maple experience to the table and answer complex questions about the beloved tree!
Panelists for this discussion included: Steve Roberge, UNH Cooperative Extension’s Specialist in Forest Resources for the state and a New Hampshire licensed forester and sugarmaker; Ben Farina, Forest Silviculturist on the White Mountain National Forest; and Dave Fuller, owner of Fuller’s Sugar House in Lancaster, whose syrup has been judged not only as best in New Hampshire, but also best in North America.
The event produced a lively discussion guided by several key questions:
- How do you identify a maple tree, and what are its defining characteristics?
- What is silviculture?
- What are the differences between a sugar maple and a red maple?
- How large is NH’s maple syrup industry?
- In what ways has climate change impacted the maple tree species and maple syrup production?
If you’re interested in the answers to these questions and more, consider viewing or listening to a recording of this panel discussion!