Skip to main content

Don't get too sappy: Warm weather may limit the maple syrup this year

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

Balmy March temperatures have had some Minnesotans running to the nearest golf course or ice cream shop.

But something that doesn't run so well in the unseasonable warmth is sap.

Maple trees, experts say, get their sweet juices flowing best when days are warm but nights are frosty. And you may have noticed that frost has been pretty scarce across Minnesota lately.

St. John's University biologist Steve Saupe tells the St. Cloud Times it's still early enough that a temperature drop could save the season.

But while he's not worried, Saupe, who has studied local syrup production over the years, admits to being "a little concerned" that weather patterns are not showing the type of cold that makes for a vigorous sap run.

A naturalist in the Minneopa area has a similar take on this year's syrup production.

Scott Kudelka tells MPR News that while there's not as much sap running as he might expect, "It's still clear — it hasn't turned milky on us, which is what you're afraid of as warmer temperatures go along."

Ideal conditions for sap – the sweet spot, you might call it – occur when highs reach 50 and night-time lows are in the 20s, Saupe tells the Times.

The Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association says there are only 17 states where pure maple syrup is produced and it only happens during this time of year.

The Department of Natural Resources produced a 2013 video (there was snow that year) showing how sap is collected and boiled into syrup.

This embed is invalid

The DNR is hosting a series of syruping events at state parks. Find the schedule here.

Next Up

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

covid

COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

police lights

Boys aged 15, 16 arrested after shooting of teen in Woodbury

The victim suffered non-life-threatening gunshot wounds.

Related

Maple syrup producers report worst year in memory

Maple trees this year didn't see the usual fluctuations from warm days to freezing nights that cause the sap to run. And now with buds appearing, "sap production's over," says one producer who harvested about a quarter of what he usually collects.