Maple Syrup Tubing Sanitation Workshops

Ask any maple syrup producer, including myself, and they will tell you the worst part of the process is cleaning up the tubing lines and equipment. After a season of long days and nights, it can be very tempting to walk out of the woods without looking back and tell yourself that you will worry about the clean-up later or even at the start of next year. That is not a good plan, especially not if you are using 3/16-inch tubing and want to have good sap flow next sugaring season.


3/16-inch tubing has gotten some bad press recently. Plugged tubing and reduced yields have convinced many syrup producers to pull down these systems, replacing them with the more traditional 5/16-inch tubing systems and investing in a vacuum pump. That may not be necessary, however; it just may take one last walk in the woods to sanitize your tubing system after the season is over.


The Appalachian Program at Future Generations University is hosting tubing sanitation workshops across the region to demonstrate and teach a tubing sanitation system based on research out of the Proctor Maple Research Center and developed by syrup-maker Arthur Krueger in Vermont that promises to keep the sap flowing year-after-year through the 3/16-inch tubing system already setup in the woods.


Beginning at 9:00 am, each of these workshops will include the following topics:

  • The Theory of 3/16- inch Tubing Systems
  • Microbial Contamination and Growth in Saplines
  • A Summary of Tubing Sanitation Research
  • The Elements of “The Krueger Method” of Sanitation
  • Followed by Lunch and Field Practice


Workshops are scheduled for:

4/2 – Family Roots Farm, Wellsburg West Virginia

4/23 – The Laurel Fork Sapsuckers, Monterey VA


Please wear appropriate footwear and clothing you do not mind getting stained or bleached.


For more information, or to register, e-mail


These workshops are offered in collaboration with the West Virginia Maple Syrup Producers Association and the Virginia Tree Syrup Producers Group.

Story By

Scott Smith

Scott Smith is the General Manager for Allegheny Mountain Radio and Station Coordinator and News Reporter for WVLS. Scott’s family has deep roots in Highland County. While he did not grow up here, he spent as much time as possible on the family farm, and eventually moved to Highland to continue the tradition, which he still pursues with his cousin. Unfortunately, farming doesn’t pay all the bills, so he has previously taken other jobs to support his farming hobby, including pressman/writer for The Recorder, and Ag Projects Coordinator for The Highland Center. He lives in Hightown with wife Michelle and son Ethan. In his spare time, he wishes he had more spare time, especially to ride his prized Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

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