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Sugar makers rely on healthy, abundant maple trees to provide sap each spring. Taken together a group of maple trees managed for sap collection is called a sugarbush. Developing a healthy, productive sugarbush takes time and effort. Forests are highly competitive environments with trees vying for water, nutrients and perhaps most of all, light. To maximize sap production, decisions need to be made about which trees to cut and which trees receive more light to grow. Choosing which trees to save and which to cut can be difficult, however, growth of all trees will not reach their potential if allowed to be overcrowded. Maple trees with the best form, a lack of significant decay or other wounds and a deep, healthy crown will grow fastest and produce the most sap. Retaining at least 25% none sugar maple in your woods will help reduce the impact of maple pests and create a more robust forest ecosystem.