UMaine Extension offers resources for maple syrup season

Maine Maple Sunday is March 24, and tapping maple trees is a sure sign of spring.

A typical season for maple producers is a cold January and February, with trees being tapped in mid- to late February or early March depending on where in the state a sugar bush is located, according to Kathy Hopkins, a maple syrup expert with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension.

After tapping, the nighttime freezing and daytime thawing of the trees produces a sap flow that can be boiled down into maple syrup. Daytime temperatures from 40–45 degrees Fahrenheit and nighttime temperatures in the mid-20s produce the best syrup, she says.

Despite the recent snow and cold temperatures, Hopkins says the forecasted weather conditions for the second week of March should get the sap flowing around the state.

The state has about 450 licensed producers of maple syrup and syrup products, according to Hopkins, as well as many hobbyists making syrup in smaller quantities for home use.

UMaine Extension offers several maple-related publications and videos through its publications catalog, including:

UMaine Extension also has produced videos that demonstrate how to tap a tree and test the quality of homemade maple syrup: