After several delays the sap started to run yesterday a little and then today it ran good this afternoon. It took until about 1:30 this afternoon to thaw the trees. By the looks of the weather forecast it might run day and night until Friday night. Then it should run most days with overnight freezes thru the first week in April. That should make this year the best season in years, for me in central NY State. My first boil will either be Thursday or Friday depending on how much sap I get. My guess is Thursday based on how well it ran this afternoon.
I turned the vacuum pump on my sugarhouse tubing system yesterday when there was sun and 36 F. I ran it for about 90 minutes and only got about 1/2 gal of sap. Apparently the trees had not thawed yet. I am going down soon to try again, it is 40 out now and has been above freezing for over 4 hours, the trees might be thawing now. If not yet, it is forecast to rise to 45 this afternoon. It is time for the sap to flow. However it’s too windy to be in the woods today, winds of 18 mph and gusts over 25. Too much risk of falling trees or limbs. Normally when the trees are thawed I get about 1-3 gallon a minute from my woods depending on several factors.
Based on the long range forecast (if it can be believed) sap will start to flow for real on March 10. From there it will run every day into early April. If that proves true I may not get much time to add new posts. I will however try every week or so to add some more information on how the season is progressing. If the forecast does prove to be accurate, this should be our best season ever. That is still to be seen.
We had 2 days, last Saturday and Sunday when it was warm enough to get some sap flow, but not enough to boil. Could not save it. Then it went do far too cold some more. We might again see a little sap but still a no go this weekend.
Then, if the long range forecast is any where near accurate, we will get perfect sap weather starting March 11. Starting then and for the following 3+ weeks it should be real good sap weather. I hope so. Others who have gotten some sap in my general area are reporting higher sugar in the sap this year than in the last 2 years, however there are not very many who have gotten much sap yet. One friend got enough from 1500 taps to boil 1 time, for a short boil. I’ve heard of no others locally who have boiled at all yet.
A few do test sap in smaller batches, but I only test when I fill a tank at least half full (about 200 gallons). I only got about 35-40 gallons so far and I need about 300 to do a first boil so I can get the pans sweet enough to prevent them from freezing enough to damage the pans. That might not happen until March 11 this year. That’s still better than some years, not too far back my first boil was on March 27, and it ended on April 10.
If the forecast doesn’t have any major changes as of now it shows warm days and cold nights every day from March 11 and continuing for 28 days, but the last 7 days in that forecast only need 2-3 degree warmer overnight and it could end at 24 days. At any rate, if we get over 21 days of ideal sap temperatures it usually ends up as a good season.
Until next time, have a great day and enjoy nature (and maple syrup).
After a few weeks of temperatures that were too cold for much sap flow the forecast finally changed. We will begin tapping around the sugarhouse. While we waited for warmer weather we added more taps around the sugarhouse. I don’t have an exact count yet, but it will be over 300 there, maybe as many as 350 taps, all flowing to the sugarhouse. I will know that count in 2-3 days. Most lines have all of the taps on them now, but 3 new lines still need them. We may get some sap flow later today but more likely tomorrow thru Sunday (4 days maybe)). Then a week of too cold again for the sap to flow. After that, if the forecast doen’t change again we should get a good 4 weeks of sap weather.
After I get all of the taps in around the sugarhouse I will update in another post with the total. After that we will be working in our lease. That is about 7 miles south west of the sugarhouse, in the hills. There we hope to get to about 700 taps. I often get some help on Saturdays or Sundays, occasionally both.