Maple Syrup Time

     It’s a time of the year when some folks on the north shore get really busy, it’s maple syrup time!

DNR News Release

Q: When I think of spring, I think of making maple syrup. What conditions produce the best sap output?

A: During March, I watch the long-range weather forecast. When an extended period of warm daytime temperatures are predicted to reach the upper 40s or higher, and nighttime temperatures fall below freezing each night, the trees will break dormancy and sap will flow. Then I need to have my equipment ready to start tapping.

In northern Minnesota we rarely get steady weather patterns, so we may get a few days of sap flow followed by none. Warm mild days with little wind that reach well above freezing in the morning and nights that dip into the mid-20s will produce the strongest prolonged flow. If that pattern holds for a week or more that’s great sap flow weather. In northern Minnesota this weather traditionally comes at the end of March into mid-April. But since it is so weather dependent every sugaring season is unique.

-John Fylpaa, DNR park naturalist, Lake Bemidji State Park