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Thread: Slow Start to 2021 - why?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,618

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    A slow start to sap flows early in the season is not uncommon.

    1. Trees take a long time to thaw out. Air temperatures may rise above freezing, but tree trunks are like huge ice cubes. Takes a while to get up to temperature.
    2. Tree branches transpire a bit during the winter. The stem and branches get depleted of water. So there may not be a lot of sap to run until the tree goes through a thaw cycle and another good freeze to recharge the stem.
    3. If there is snow packed tightly around the base, recharge water cannot be taken up to replenish that lost by transpiration (the lower stem remains frozen even if the top is thawed out). It can take a few warm sunny days for the snow to melt back from the bases to allow recharge to occur.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    hudson river valley
    Posts
    155

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    Well the bad news is it's so cold the sap ain't running.
    The good news is it's so cold the sweet in the pan is frozen.

    Looks like it's going to be hot this week, so I'll be boiling in hot weather again this year.

    There's threads about folks thinking of insulating and heating their sugar house.

    These last few years I've been thinking an air conditioner might be more appropriate.

    I may try boiling at night.
    2018 Built the sugar shack, produced 10.5 gallons (converted some to sugar,& cream). taps varied 45 to 50
    2017 Built 2x4 arch for a divided pan, 8.5 gallons from 30 taps increased to 42 taps during season.
    2016 Produced 3 gallons & 1 quart Syrup, Block arch & 3 buffet pans, 12 taps
    2015 Thought about tapping

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    3. If there is snow packed tightly around the base, recharge water cannot be taken up to replenish that lost by transpiration (the lower stem remains frozen even if the top is thawed out). It can take a few warm sunny days for the snow to melt back from the bases to allow recharge to occur.
    Good example of what I was referring to with #3 above. A few days ago the snow was tight around the base of the tree. Today (a few warm days later), there is a nice melted circle around the tree. Now, when temperature (wood) conditions are right, the sap can run.

    snow melted from base of tree.jpg
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    French River Ontario
    Posts
    102

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    Mother nature can be fickle for sure.
    That's for sure and two of the best ingredients in maple syrup, mother nature and time
    2019 - Barrel evaporator 2 steam pans 44 taps 13 Liters syrup
    2020 - Barrel evaporator 2 steam pans 51 taps 21 Liters syrup
    2021- New homemade 2x3 evaporator and flat pan 61 drop tubes to buckets

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Mount Vernon Maine
    Posts
    145

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Good example of what I was referring to with #3 above. A few days ago the snow was tight around the base of the tree. Today (a few warm days later), there is a nice melted circle around the tree. Now, when temperature (wood) conditions are right, the sap can run.

    Attachment 22219
    If you have a small bush, does shoveling help? Or let nature do it's thing in its own time?
    2x4 concrete block arch with three steam trays
    Separate warming stove/steam tray
    2016 12 taps, 3 gallons
    2018 15 taps, 7 gallons
    2019 38 taps, 13.6 gallons
    2020 40 taps, 13.7 gallons
    2021 62 taps 13.5 gallons
    Mostly sugar maples, a few reds on 200 year old homestead

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    5,618

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mvhomesteader View Post
    If you have a small bush, does shoveling help? Or let nature do it's thing in its own time?
    Shoveling will certainly help, but you need lots of training before you should attempt it. Come to my house next year after each snowfall from Dec-Mar and I'll make sure you know the proper way to do it.

    Seriously though....snow is a good insulator and helps prevent freezing of the soil in the woods. Shoveling would probably just expose the roots and ground and let the frost penetrate deeply, so you'd be no further ahead.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Colchester, Connecticut
    Posts
    10

    Default what went wrong?

    So I finished the season out yesterday with 172 gallons of sap collected and only 1.9 gallons of syrup made! That's about a 92:1 ratio! Eeek.

    All on about 130 taps, mostly reds, 5/16 maxflo spiles and drop tubes with buckets. My sugarbush is really flat and mostly residential so permanent tubing isn't ideal.

    Obviously I need more sap to make more syrup (luckily I had an RO this year).

    But how do I get more sap? Vacuum? More trees? Buehler?

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