Mild winter a bad sign for maple sugar
From The Sun's print editions:Baltimore Sun reporters Candus Thomson and Steve Kilar offers this guest post:
Mild winter weather could take the sweetness out of this year's maple sugar season. Good sap production requires daytime temperatures in the 40s and nighttime temperatures in the 20s. Nothing turns off the flow like a stretch of four or five days of 60-degree weather.
"The trees think it's springtime already," said Mike Driesbach, owner of Savage River Lodge in Garrett County, which has a small maple sugar operation. Sugar maples depend on fluctuating temperatures from day to night, he said. "If it doesn't drop below 30, the trees aren't ready to start pumping that sap up."
"It's a commodity business. Produce less, prices go higher," he said. "We might have a real short season."
Oregon Ridge Nature Center will have a maple sugar weekend Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and its annual pancake breakfast on March 3 and 4 from 8 a.m. to noon. Call 410-887-1815 for details and reservations.