By Beth Spieles, Interpretive Educator
The forecasts may be lining up to predict a bountiful harvest of maple syrup this year. Ecologists at Tufts University have reported evidence of a correlation between seed production and syrup production. Since 2014 was considered a low mast year for maples (meaning fewer of those helicopter seeds were produced), the trees may have used less energy for seed production, resulting in more energy stored as sugar.
Of course, the effect of weather on sap flow cannot be denied. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, syrup production was down 10% in 2014 as compared to 2013. In Ohio, the season of sap flow averaged just 29 days in 2014 compared to the 37-day season in 2013. Sap won’t flow when the temperature drops below freezing. And we all remember how often that happened during the winter of 2014!
CNN has put maple syrup on its top ten food trends of 2015, commenting that concerns with the stability of honeybee populations are sending chefs in search of other natural sugar alternatives.
Come on out during The Arboretum’s maple syruping season to see if the predictions ring true and to follow the trend. Our season begins on Saturday, February 21st and runs through Sunday, March 8th. The log cabin is open Mondays through Saturdays 10am – 4pm and Sundays, 1 – 4pm. Public walking tours will depart from the Main Shelter on Saturdays during the season at 2pm.