SHELBURNE, Mass. (WWLP)- It was a slow start for maple syrup makers this year, and now the cold temperatures continue to slow the flow of Maple sap.
Helen Gould, of Gould’s Sugar House in Shelburne said, “We’ve been able to keep fresh syrup on the table.” They’ve had to use some of last year’s syrup when they opened their doors this month, and while the trees did thaw out and they were able to get production going for awhile, the cold is still slowing them down.
Larry Gould told 22News, “It’s been just unbearably cold. Here we are the last week in March and it feels like the first week in March.”
Good sap flow needs several days of 35 to 40 degree weather with a slight freeze at night and while some sap has been collected and boiled down, the cold has even affected that process.
It’s been so cold at night that even some of the sap that’s still in the evaporator will get a thin layer of ice leftover right on top.
The cold has also stopped the sap right at the trees. Larry Gould said, “The problem we’re having right now is that it warms up just a little bit during the day just so the sap starts dripping a little bit and then it freezes solid at night like this bucket right here. It’s probably been three days since it’s been gathered because it’s frozen solid and there’s no way to get the liquids out of here.”
So Gould’s, and many other sugar houses are waiting patiently for warmer temperatures to return and stay.
“We’ve been able to hold our own but I don’t know how long it’s going to last,” Helen Gould said.
The maple syrup season could go more into April with the right conditions.