It’s holiday time and that means sugaring season is right around the corner. Are you ready? If you haven’t done it yet, find and mark your maple trees now. Then, make sure you have enough spiles, buckets & lids for the amount of trees you plan to tap.
For those of you just starting out, making your own maple syrup is really very simple and incredibly rewarding. Things to remember:
- Only tap healthy maple trees that are 12-inches in diameter or larger
- If tapped once, each tree should produce about a quart of maple syrup
- If done correctly, tapping will not harm the trees
Maple sap usually begins to flow between early February and March…but if there’s one thing last season taught us it’s “always be prepared”. In fact, according to the USDA, last year’s sugaring season opened on January 1st in Pennsylvania, Vermont & Virginia. The early season, brought on by unusually mild winter temperatures, caught many off guard. So instead of relying strictly on the calendar, keep checking for ideal weather conditions: when daytime temperatures rise above freezing and nighttime temps fall below the freezing point.
2016 turned out to be a record breaking sugaring season—with production in the Northeastern Region up 27 percent from the previous year. Hopefully, 2017 will be even better!