Driving through New England this time of year, you will see on harbinger of spring. Sap buckets on the sides of maple trees. Yes, spring is on its way.
In the coastal areas of south-east New England, we don’t see this very often. It is a more common sight in Maine, New Hampshire and especially Vermont.
Growing up in Vermont, we always talked about the sap running and the quality of the sugaring season. There are a lot of processes that take place to produce sap.
To get the sap to run, it takes cold nights and warm days. This drives the sap down into the roots at night and up to the branches during the day. As the season progresses, the sugars begin to turn to starch and the quality of the sap declines. Eventually, the sap stops running and the season is over. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of maples syrup.
Here on the coast, the season is rather short as that contrast of cold nights and warm days is not reliable. Be sure to visit my maples syrup posts from years go by.