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Thread: Sugaring in a climate without sustained freezing temperatures or snow cover?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Location
    Iron Mountain, Wisconsin
    Posts
    1

    Default Sugaring in a climate without sustained freezing temperatures or snow cover?

    I have a little backyard sugaring experience here in Wisconsin, so a retired family friend wants to enlist my help in setting up a small operation on his property. Here's the catch: we're talking about northern Tennessee!

    Anyone tapping down there? Looking at weather records, their entire winter resembles my spring tapping season. 3-4 weeks of freeze-thaw cycles (Jan-Feb), with no sustained period of frost before that (and very little snow on the ground, if any). Freezing temperatures during the day are rare. Does sweet sap even run in a climate like this? I've read other threads and the consensus seems to be that "sap sugar content is typically higher in the spring than the fall", so I'm assuming a real winter helps the process. What happens if it's just never there?

    Making maple syrup not far from the peach trees of Georgia has never entered my mind before , but that doesn't mean it's impossible. Happy to get some opinions on this!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
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    8,863

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    While maple syrup is not big business in Tenn, some producers do make great syrup in that state.
    Too late now, but recently there was a southern symposium on making maple syrup in more southern reaches. The sugar content may be a little lower, but if a maple tree has a good crown and it big enough, you just need the freeze thaw cycles. January may be your best month. I've read someplace that it really only takes 40-50 hrs of below freezing temps for the tree to be ready, then it needs the right conditions to get much sap.
    Maybe others "who attended" the symposium might chime in, I did not.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 1000 for 2019?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Fulton, NY
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    1,320

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    Some friends told me years ago that they visited the "southernmost" sugaring operation, in NC. Don't remember where or the name, but a search might put you in touch with them.
    Tim Whitens
    Willow Creek Farm
    Fulton, NY

    2850 on vacuum, 3hp 3ph Busch pump, 2567 Gast
    30X8 Leader oil-fired evap. w/ steamaway
    Airablo 1000 RO
    10 Alpacas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    8,863

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    It even seems to me that Eustace Conway on the mountain man series made some maple syrup in one episode. He is in Columbia SC, in the mountains
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, down to about 700 in '16, up to 1000 for 2019?
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lawrence County Ohio
    Posts
    116

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    Eustace is near Asheville NC, I got to know his buddy Preston before he passed. I lived in Goldsboro NC for 20 years, down east between Raleigh and the coast. We had plenty of Red Maples down there, but I did not have the sugar bug then and can't comment on sap runs. We did have intermittent 20-40F temps from time to time but never consistent. I did attend the Southern Syrup Symposium in WV back in September, there was a producer there who taught one of the seminars, he is planning a 100 tap operation in Va Beach this coming season. While he is a tad north of East TN in Latitude, you should easily make up for this in altitude. The newly formed Kentucky Maple Syrup Producers Association got it's start in Whitesburg, where the Letcher County Extension partnered with Wise County, Va to put on the Kentucky Maple School the last 2 years. There were several attendees last year from TN. There is a long running, annual maple Festival in Mt Rogers, VA. It's possible to make syrup in TN, just not nearly predictable as up north. I'm in the southern most country in Ohio, and going in to my third year, I tapped 15 trees as an experiment in 2012, Got the operation off he ground last year with a real(sort of) evaporator and 25 taps, this year 250, working on 400 for next season. I can tell you one thing, everything has to be CLEAN everyday and on the warm days EVERYTHING else has to be cleaned, sometimes twice. https://www.facebook.com/KYMapleSyrupAssociation/
    2013 15 jugs - almost a gallon
    2017 125 on 3/16 - 11 gallons
    18"x6' drop flue on home made arch
    2018 240 on 3/16 12 bags - 26 gallons
    Deer Run 125 RO


    https://www.facebook.com/Tarheelbill...335/?pnref=lhc

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Cape Girardeau, MO
    Posts
    115

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    I am in SE Missouri and make some syrup. Hope for 500 taps this season. As the the winters have gotten shorter,,,,, 40 yrs ago taped in March but now tap in January. The main problem is the warm spells,,,, 50s 60s for several days that causes sap to spoil in tubing
    2012 200 taps on buckets,,, Built me a 2' X 11' arch,,, hope to put most on tubing next year.

    2011 100 taps on buckets, 30x 60 flat pan

    2009 63 taps on buckets,,,, 30x60 flat pan

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