Yesterday I got out and worked in the woods a few hours. The 22″ of snow we had has now settled to about 8″. At this time it did not melt, but now thru Tuesday we have daytime highs in the 40’s, it will melt then.
Yesterday we changed drops and fixed leaks in the tubing lines around the sugarhouse. This afternoon I will be out there again if the ice melts from the freezing rain we had overnight in time to work. Then tomorrow my brother-in-law will be working with me. First in the sugarhouse, packing more syrup into retail containers (from a SS bulk barrel). Then we will work in the woods some more. We need to finish the sugarhouse woods from last year and add about 50-75 new taps there.
After that we will be working again at my leased woods. Unless the forecast changes it might be late Feb. before we tap. By what it shows now, If I tapped today I would get sap for 3 days but then no more sap until early March. With that forecast it is better to tap shortly before the March sap. We have not had very many freeze thaw cycles yet, so any sap collected now would be low in sugar %. The more freeze thaw cycles the higher the sap sugar content, at least thru the first 2-3 weeks of good flow. Then it begins to drop again generally. However, last year we got good sap sugar content for 4 weeks before it fell because the sap ran for 3-4 days, then froze hard a day or 2. Then it flowed again. That repeated all thru the season, which helped a lot. That weather pattern however was the exception and not the norm.