Weiskittel and Lilley featured in Maine Public article about climate change and maple syrup

Aaron Weiskittel, an associate professor of forest biometrics at the University of Maine, and Jason Lilley, a University of Maine Cooperative Extension sustainable agriculture and maple professional, were featured in Maine Public discussing the impact of climate change on maple production. Weiskittel, who was part of a team of researchers that four years ago analyzed decades of U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis data, said climate change and extreme weather events are making the region increasingly inhospitable for sensitive sugar maple trees to grow and thrive. Lilley said that sap season is coming earlier and ending sooner, especially in southern New England, where the freeze-thaw cycle that makes for good sap runs is increasingly erratic and forcing producers to make difficult choices. He added that northern Maine looks more insulated from that kind of variability, but there’s still concern that extreme weather events like drought can also affect the health of maple trees and the quality of the sap they produce.