Warm up in weather signals start of syrup season

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FALL CREEK, Wis (WEAU)- When the sap starts flowing through the trees it’s time to collect the sweet rewards.

Last season maple syrup producers around the state had a record setting year, but a later start to spring this season could mean less syrup on your table.

“The sap is just starting to run right now. You need a good freeze thaw cycle with temperatures above freezing during the day and below freezing at night to get a good collection,” Beaver Creek Reserve naturalist Jim Schwiebert said.

Schwiebert says when the sap starts flowing the taps start going at Beaver Creek.

“We put out most of our taps this past Monday. So we have about 40 trees tapped right now we tap typically about 100 to 110 trees,” Schwiebert said.

Beaver Creek says their syrup collection has been a roller coaster ride the past couple of years. Schwiebert says 2012 was the worst season to date. A quick warm up meant they were only able to collect sap for a few days. When 2013 came around things started looking up for the syrup supply at the reserve.

“In 2013 we had a record year. We made 22 gallons of syrup which is a record for the reserve. Typically we made around 11 or 12 gallons,” Schwiebert said.

Beaver Creek Reserve says sap collection from year to year differs but one thing does stay the same and that’s the way that sap boils down to syrup. Depending on the sugar content of the sap it can take more than 80 gallons of sap to make just one gallon of syrup.

Schwiebert says this year a colder longer winter pushed back the start of syrup season by several week so they are hoping to make up for lost time this week. When it boils down to predicting a good or bad syrup season this year Schweibert says it’s all up to Mother Nature now.

“The way it’s looking we’ll probably be around that average mark but it all depends on the weather,” Schwiebert said.

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