Forest Tent Caterpillar populations increased again in 2006, with 343,000 acres of defoliation mapped by aerial survey. The damage generally increased from 2005 in southern Vermont and in the central Green Mountains, and decreased in the Champlain Valley.
Large numbers of caterpillars died from disease. Many others died in cocoons thanks to parasites, such as the native “friendly flies” that were so common in early summer. Still, the outbreak may
continue in 2007. Forest tent caterpillar moth counts are about the same as they were in 2005.
For more information on forest tent caterpillar,
or to see photos of these insects, visit:
For more information
on forest tent caterpillar in Vermont the and the 2006 Vermont Forest Tent
Caterpillar Spray Project visit the VT Forests, Parks & Recreation's Forest Tent Caterpillar Web Page:
FPR Forest Tent Caterpillar Page
VT Forestry Division Provides Management
Recommendations for Sugarbushes Defoliated by Forest Tent Caterpiller
Forest Tent Caterpillar populations
increased in 2006, with 343,000 acres of
defoliation mapped by aerial survey.
The damage generally increased from
2005 in southern Vermont and in the
central Green Mountains, and decreased
in the Champlain Valley.
Although healthy maples can withstand several years of defoliation, some are declining in
sugarbushes which have been defoliated two or hree times. Dead trees are showing up in
recently thinned sugarbushes, or on ridges, dry slopes or wet areas. Some unthinned trees on
good sites have also died. Fortunately, the outbreak has coincided with ample rain…so far.
In selecting a sugarbush management strategy, consider both current tree
condition and your ability to tolerate unpredictable future stresses (like
drought) which could set decline in motion.
Vermont Leads Nation in 2006 Maple Production
USDA NASS- Vermont led all states in production with 460,000
gallons, an increase of 12 percent from 2005. Maine’s
production, at 300,000 gallons, increased 13 percent
from last season. Production in New York, at 253,000
gallons, is 14 percent above 2005. Production doubled in
Wisconsin, and is up 34 percent in Michigan, 13 percent
in Ohio, 12 percent in New Hampshire, and eight percent
in Pennsylvania. Production remained the same in
Connecticut and Massachusetts. Large increases in
yield as well as additional taps set in many States led to
this year’s increased production.
Temperatures in the maple producing states varied
across the country. While producers in Maine, Michigan,
Ohio, Vermont, and Wisconsin reported favorable
conditions, producers in the other five States
experienced weather that was either too warm or too
cold for favorable sap flow. On average, the season
lasted approximately 28 days compared to 24 days in
2005. Michigan and Pennsylvania had the earliest
season opening date of January 1. Michigan also had
the latest sap flow in 2006 with an approximate season
ending date of May 2.
Sugar content of the sap for 2006 is down from last year.
On average, approximately 43 gallons of sap were
required to produce one gallon of syrup. This compares
to with 40 gallons in 2005 and 42 gallons in 2004. The
majority of the syrup produced this year is of medium
color. The 2005 U.S. average price per gallon is $29.90,
up $1.50 from the 2004 price of $28.40. The U.S. value
of production, at $37.1 million for 2005, is down 13
percent from 2004.
For the complete 2006 Maple Syrup Report:
Maple Syrup 2006; New England Agricultural Statistics
A Popular State Tree; The Sugar Maple
Vermont shares its state tree with three other states: New York,
Wisconsin, and West Virginia. The Vermont Legislature adopted its
State Tree in 1948. The sugar maple is particularly significant
to Vermont, as the Green Mountain State leads the nation in production
of maple syrup, and because there are probably more individual
sugar maples than any other tree species growing in Vermont
To Maple Field Guide: Sugar
More Maple Trivia