142, rang Lainesse, Saint-Norbert-d’Arthabaska, QC, G0P 1B0
Saint-Norbert-d’Arthabaska’s experimental sugar bush is located approximately 80 km southwest of Quebec and a few kilometers from the city of Victoriaville.
The sugar bush itself occupies an area of 17.2 hectares and a maple syrup potential of 1800 taps. It is located at an altitude of 183 meters. The stand’s median age is 110 years. There is a wooded area of maple trees which allows a certain amount of practical work to be done for research and experimentation needs in maple sugaring, which is representative of the sugar bushes exploited for many decades for maple sugar production. On average, there are 1940 hours of sunlight per year as well as 1091 mm of precipitation, 810 mm of rain and 2807 mm of snow (10 mm of snow equals 1 mm of rain). The average temperature is 4.5 °C with a frost-free period that varies between 95 and 110 days per year.
The on-site installations allow for sap evaporation in an automaton-controlled environment. The pilot electrical evaporators, activated in 2010, offer improved work efficiency, which increases research productivity. A workshop is used for the maintenance and fabrication of certain components for current research. The vacuum system, installed in such a way that each collection network is autonomous, allows for the collection of precise data. It is thus possible to carry out, among other things, practical experimentation tests on the spiles. Moreover, in the building’s upper section, we find administrative offices and a room for conference and workshop presentations.
Saint-Norbert-d’Arthabaska’s experimental sugar bush is part of the larger sugar-maple domain, more precisely the basswood sugar bush domain. We observe a fluvial-residual-type deposit with a soil that drains relatively well even if the general grade is low (on average 2%). With regards to tree stratum, the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) is the dominant species with the following companion species: American lime tree (Tilia americana), American beech (Fagus grandifolia), ironwood (Ostrya virginiana), and occasionally the yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis). Within depressions, because of slower drainage, we find a few Eastern hemlocks (Tsuga canadiensis) as well as cedars (Thuya occidentalis). For its part, the shrub stratum is characterized by the pin cherry tree (Prunus pensylvanica) as well as by the striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum).
The Centre ACER chemistry and microbiology labs are housed at the Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre (CRDA), located at: 3600, Casavant O. Boulevard, Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, J2S 8E3.
The installations allow for the execution of microbiological analyses; subculture count totals and totals for the identification of families and microorganism groups of maple sap and maple syrup. The chemistry lab equipment allows for the physical and chemical characterization of the sap and syrup (pH, dry matter, soluble solids, light transmission levels, etc.) and more specific analyses (sugars, organic acids, aromas, etc.) using modern techniques such as liquid and gaseous chromatographies. Equipment such as temperate chambers, fermenters and the electronic microscope service are accessible to Centre ACER researchers. Moreover, the personnel have access to sensory analysis services and to food processing pilot plants.
656, rang Notre-Dame-des-Champs, Pohénégamook, QC, G0L 1J0
In 2010, the Centre ACER opened a new office in the city of Pohénégamook, in the Témiscouata region. The activities of the forest department and its equipment are coordinated from this service point. The Centre ACER has a test bed in the Fleuve-et-des-Lacs school board sugar bush in order to respond to certain applied research needs of actors in the maple sugar business.
The experimental sugar bush is located in the balsam fir-yellow birch bioclimatic domain. The ecological type is the sugar maple-yellow birch domain on a glacial deposit at an altitude of 312 meters. On site, we find ironwood saplings (Ostrya virginiana) as an indicator of soil richness. The group of indicator species is the yellow clintonia (Clintonia borealis). The tree stratum is dominated by the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) with the red maple (Acer rubrum) as a companion species. The shrub stratum is comprised of alternate-leaf dogwood (Cornus alternifolia), American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia), and mountain maples (Acer spicatum).
The sugar bush is located on soil with good drainage with a medium texture and a moder-type humus. The median grade is 10%. The median diameter breast height (dbh) of the trees is respectively 17 m and 27 cm. The stand has a southeast exposure.