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Maple Syrup Season Begins in Northwoods

Natalie Jablonski
Syrup tapping can range from small hobby operations to larger set-ups like this one at Maple Hollow Farms in Merrill

Warm weather has drawn people out of their homes for a number of spring activities including one popular Northwoods pastime: tapping trees for maple syrup. As Emily Bright reports, the season has begun, and much earlier than last year.

Maple syrup enthusiasts have been out tapping trees this week, as the warm daytime temperatures and freezing nights make sap start to run. Speaking from the winter farmers’ market, Tonya Hofrichter of Hofrichter farms in Deerbrook says the sap has had a slow start.

“It’s starting to run a little bit. Not as much as we’d hoped—the cores of the trees are still pretty cold, but I think it will let loose pretty quick.”

Hofrichter worries that too much warm weather too quickly will cut the season short. The maple syrup season is quick—only one to three weeks—but it’s a busy one. Gathering and boiling sap requires long hours and close attention. It takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. But many Northwoods families find the work is well worth its tasty reward.

Weather for the next 10 days shows good weather for maple syrup: days in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and nights mostly below freezing.

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