Maple Tree sap tapping season might be over before it begins

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Maple Tree sap tapping has been difficult this year due to the record amount of snow and late spring start. Maple syrup farmers in the northland are waiting anxiously for the weather to warm up enough for sap to flow. However, making real maple syrup takes a lot of hard work and patience. Especially, because you can only tap maple trees for a couple of weeks in the spring.

Doug Hoffbauer, the co-owner of farmer Doug, said inconsistent weather temperatures, impact the tapping process. Maple syrup farmers are ready for the sap to drip at any second. “We’ll see if we get 7 to 10 good days a year. That’s it. And the rest of the year is too cold. My concern, I think that we could blow right through it next week and be done if it gets in the sixties.” Hoffbauer said.

Hoffbauer also said, when the temperatures start warming up, and trees start to bud, the sap becomes bitter. “Even today it’s only like 32. A perfect day would be where it’s 45, and 25 at night, sunny, high pressure. That’s the ideal weather. The reality is we don’t get those that many of those days.” Hoffbauer said.

Patrick Kholin, the Marketing and Graphics Coordinator for UMD’s RSOP also has been tapping maple trees on campus. “It’s always a good idea to keep a large store from previous years. Syrup does have a pretty good shelf life. And we had a great year, a great year last year. And luckily for us, we didn’t give it all away.” Kholin said.

Kholin, however, talked more about how making maple syrup is a labor of love. “It takes on average about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon the syrup the early syrup. It’s a lot of work, a lot of attention to detail. It’s I think it’s a science and art at the same time.” Kholin said. Other maple syrup farmers in the Northland said this late start to spring has not affected their tapping since 1996.

For more information on Maple Tree sap you can look here. For another story about Maple Trees you can look here.