Summer Sap in January

January 12, 2020

WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE FOREST?

Last week I posted how the 2020 maple sugaring season had begun in central Ulster County (for me). Well, the first few days were giving that old “sap snow.” Sap snow is when it’s snowing, temperatures are in the mid-30s or so and the sap is running like crazy. A few days later, and it feels like “summer sap.” It’s 63 degrees out there and the sap’s pouring out. The problem is that at this high temperature, the sap begins to go bad if you don’t get on it. Also, if it doesn’t freeze at night, the sap will shut off. I see the moths are back and the ants too. Sugar content during the sap snow was about 2.6%; Now it has plummeted to 1.8%. Although, it does look like the extended forecast is showing much more “wintry” temperatures; After all, it is January.

In the picture is me holding a refractometer used to measure sugar content of maple sap.

 

Ryan Trapani

Director of Forest Services

Catskill Forest Association