Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

Bitter winter keeps syrup season bottled up; maple sap slow to run

Author:

After the winter we've been through, spring's pleasures will be sweet.

But some are coming later than usual, and you can put fresh maple syrup on that list.

One expert tells WCCO continued cold weather means the sugar maples do not have their sap flowing like it usually is by late March. Consequently, maple syrup season is off to a slow start in Minnesota.

Better late than never, though, and Brett Sieberer of Three Rivers Park District tells the station we could still see two to three weeks of sap flow leading to abundant syrup.

KARE-11 visited Fort Snelling State Park last week for a primer on the syrup-making process. Naturalist Krista Jensen says days above the freezing mark and nights below it help maple trees get their juices flowing.

Jensen says gases in the trees expand during a thaw and pull moisture out of the ground. It then collects the sugars that the tree has stored in its fibers since last fall.

Collecting is also what syrup seekers do when they tap the maples. The Shakopee News reported last week that bags are hanging from more than 250 sugar maples that have been tapped at the Minnesota Landscape Arboreteum in Chanhassen.

And it takes a lot of sap to make a little syrup. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says the ratio is 30 to 40 gallons of sap for one gallon of maple syrup.

While the Arboretum held its annual pancake brunch last weekend, maple syrup tours are scheduled for each of the next two Saturday afternoons. The DNR also has maple syrup events planned this weekend at Fort Snelling and Camden State Parks.

Next Up

Chris Finch

Hawks bury Timberwolves in 3-point barrage

Without D'Angelo Russell, the Wolves couldn't keep up with the Hawks.

P.J. Fleck, Gophers football

Kirk Ciarocca returning to Gophers as offensive coordinator

The architect of the 2019 offense will look to revive the Gophers.

Klobuchar - MTP - NBC screengrab

Klobuchar says Congress should pass law to protect abortion rights

Her comments came as the Supreme Court appears poised to weaken — or gut — Roe v. Wade

MPD missing Heard - crop 1_

Police ask for public's help finding Mpls. woman missing a week

The 36-year-old hasn't been seen or heard from recently.

unsplash cold winter breath dark

Hello, winter: List of the coldest wind chills in MN Monday morning

The state went from a relatively mild start of the season, to downright frigid wind chills.

deer

1 CWD-positive deer in Brainerd Lakes area, so surveillance will continue

The CWD monitoring measures were supposed to end after this year.

unsplash - visitor patient doctor hospital emergency - crop

MN program will train, hire 1,000 nursing assistants for long-term care

The facilities are facing a severe staffing shortage.

Minnesota State Fair - main gate day 2021

Minnesota State Fair reestablishes a police department

The fair had been contracting with the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office.

teacher, covid, masks, school

Minnetonka to consider removing middle school mask requirement

The school board has been impressed by vaccination rates among middle school students.

snow, plow

Friday winter storm could hit Twin Cities, southern Minnesota

Meteorologist Sven Sundgaard is already monitoring the forecast.

Sauk Rapids Middle School street view, Minnesota - November 2018_

Teen student arrested for threats toward MN middle school

The Sauk Rapids middle school and high school were closed Monday.

_DSC0318

Rally for trans child outed during Hastings school board race draws big crowd

Hastings has been in the spotlight since the child's family was featured in a CNN story.

Related

Record breaking warm weather disrupting maple syrup season

The President of the Minnesota Maple Syrup Producers Association told MPR he typically collects about 250 gallons of syrup near Fergus Falls. So far this spring, he hasn't collected any sap. Trees only produce it when there's a freeze-thaw cycle.