Excitement in the Sugar Bush

By Richard DeVries

People seem excited to see me in the Sugarbush and to read my blog postings about the Maple season. This year I realize that maybe it is not my personality and intriguing Maple stories, but it might just be my association with spring time. Even the snow, ice and cold loving people, and I like to think I am one of them, have had enough snow for the season.

Despite the cold temperatures we started getting ready for the Maple Syrup season on March first. We redesigned the tubing system on our South hill and installed all new tubing.

The temperatures did not get above zero and the tubing was stiff and hard to work with. The nine degrees on Monday morning felt pretty good and it got better as the week went on. We tapped the trees on Wednesday and Thursday. The temperatures in the twenty degree range were perfect.

When it is too warm you risk wet feet from melting snow. When it is too cold the wood around the taphole can crack, and one might get cold fingers.

Photo by Mark MacLennan

Photo by Mark MacLennan

We still have the North hill to get ready this week. The tubing on the North hill stays up year round. It makes it a lot easier and faster to tap the trees.

The first school groups are coming this week to learn about Maple Syrup on their field trips. They will tap a total of ninety trees in our Sugar Bush this month.

The weather forecast for this week looks promising but we never really know when the sap will start running. It looks like we should have sap to cook on March 22, the day of our big Pancake Brunch and Sugar Bush tours and activities. We will also have a Maple open house on March 29 and April 5. Look for details on the Arboretum website.

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