from March 25, 2013
There are certain weather conditions required for sap to flow. Warm (upper 30's to mid-40's) and sun during the day and cold ( freezing or below) night temperatures are best. Harvesting ends when temperature lows are consistently above freezing for several days in a row.
Sap flow is also about positive pressure in the tree. Here is a link to Massachusetts Maple Producers Association's webpage if you are interested in learning more about what causes sap flow. They do a much better job explaining it then I ever could.
We have been impatiently waiting for the maple sap flow to really begin. Last year's maple season was very short in our neck of the woods, pardon the pun, but was earlier, mid February. In comparision with this year, March is almost over and we don't have enough sap to even start the evaporator yet. Watching the weather forecast this last month seemed promising about 5 to 7 days out, but as we got closer to those days it became colder and snowier than predicted - not good for maple syrup.
So we keep getting ready: tapping trees, fixing and adding sap lines, washing and setting collecting barrels. Is it all for naught? Will there be no maple syrup season in 2013? Climate Change?
This week looks hopeful. Maybe in a couple days we will be so busy collecting sap and heating it into maple syrup, we will forget these last weeks of worry. I hope so. You know the old saying, "Be careful what you wish for because you may just get it!" Maple syrup season for us is crazy, tiring and stressful, and sometimes I question why we willing put ourself through it, but we love doing it. And when it's all over, we'll have lots of wonderful syrup for our family and yours! Yes, we are ready. Come on warm days and cool nights. We'll see . . .