Warm fall a threat to the maple harvest

Ok here it goes I’m not much of a blogger. However I just had to cool down the rumors of a poor maple harvest this coming spring. As long as I have known and worked with media the common theme is to present a bad or negative spin on things. Yes this fall was very unseasonably warm and there is no doubt the trend of global warming is very much reality.

To say that a poor maple harvest is imminent is complete speculation at best. Some of our best years had very little snow fall and some long plus temp thaws in the traditional winter months. In fact the stars are lining up quite nicely. We experienced a great summer growing season for the maple trees with moderate temps and ample rainfall. The trees were under no acute environmental stress. Sugar production in the roots should reflect this and hopefully be above average.

The elders tell us “it’s all about the weather come spring” While I am convinced that no one can accurately predict the maple harvest we do know a few  key factors that create a good harvest.  The presence of freezing nights and thawing days produce strong sap flows. The water table or available snow load to enter the water table is a key component for sap volume. Getting to warm too fast in early spring can make for a short season. Bottom line is that every year the trees come alive and in this process we take what nature gives us.

If we average the yields for the last five years it comes out around 1.2 liters of syrup per tap. With 1 liter per tap being the national average we don’t have a lot to complain about. The highest yield was 1.6 and the lowest .75.  To sum it all up we are not worried in the least. In fact we are looking forward to dancing to Mother Nature’s drum. It’s that unpredictable element that keeps us coming back every year. We call it Mother Nature’s slot machine.

Dan Goetz

PS  The only solid statement I can give for the upcoming season is this… “I will let you know what happened in May.”