End of the Late Syrup Season

This is the first season, in our thirty years of record keeping, that we did not cook any syrup in March. This is also the first season that we are cooking syrup past April 22. It is a late season.

The trees on the south hill stopped giving sap. The pressure gauge connected to the tree read 26 PSI, but not a drop was spilling out of the spile. The tap-hole dried up; it is one of two ways the season ends. People used to think that the tap-hole dried up because the tree was healing. Research shows that bacteria that start growing when it gets warmer plug the tap hole.

The other way the season ends is when the trees start to leaf out. The sap changes and turns bitter when the buds start to swell. The ‘buddy sap’ cannot be used to cook maple syrup.

I am sure we can all agree that we are so lucky that it kept on snowing, right? Temperatures stayed cold and there was not a bud on the tree that considered making a leaf this wonderful springtime.

That is why we are still getting sap from the north side. On Wednesday, we had a great run, and the sap was still crystal clear. Last night we had a little bit of a frost, and I hope it triggered the trees to give some more sap today.

We just cooked gallon number 90. We haven’t made this much syrup since 1997. If we get another good run today we will be pushing a hundred gallons of pure maple syrup. Great for next years Pancake Brunch.

Making syrup

Making syrup

According to the ten day weather forecast, spring might finally be here. Without frosty nights we won’t get sap and the leaves on the trees will appear soon. The Maple syrup season at the Arboretum will come to an end by the end of this week.

After this great Maple syrup season I am finally ready for spring. I am looking forward to see the Snow Trilliums bloom. Their big flower buds have been covered by snow three times this spring.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Snow Trilliums and Hepatica

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