2017 Maple Syruping Season – Calling the Start

I have had a few questions about when our maple syruping season will start.  We are just now diving back down into the sub-freezing temperatures, after more than a week of unseasonably warm January temperatures, as can be seen in the one-week history table, we have had no temperatures below freezing.

One-week history from S. Haven station, 16 miles to our norhwest

In the week of Monday Jan 30, we will begin the work of re-organizing and cleaning the equipment necessary to open the season, while keeping a close eye on the 10-day forecast, below.

10-day forecast; temps are not cycling with daytime highs above and night time lows below freezing, so no sap flow expected

So looking forward 10 days from today, it does not look like we will be seeing sap flows during that time frame.  For an example of what we are looking for, see the picture from 2015 below; we want those day time highs in the low 40’s °F, and lows in the mid 20’s °F overnight.  The temperature needs to cycle above and below freezing to cause sap to flow.

10-Day forecast from March 2015 shows a series of days where sap could be expected to flow; Mar 10-11 show near-ideal conditions

In our 10-day forecast is also some snow, which I am really hopeful of.  It is snowing as I write this in fact, beautiful.  Snow is very helpful for keeping the collected sap cold until it can be processed.  In the past we have piled snow around the containers of sap, which worked very nicely, and costs nothing, which is also nice.  Last year we struggled to keep the sap cold, and in fact poured a significant amount onto the ground after it started to ferment and could not be used in syrup-making.  Beyond that, snow just makes for a beautiful syruping season, and I’m all about that.

All the best,