Warm weather jumpstarts the maple syrup season

The sap inside maple trees is starting to run about a month ahead of schedule


CASCO, Wis. (WBAY) – Our warmer weather in the forecast means an early start for those looking to make maple syrup in Northeast Wisconsin. The sap has started to run almost a month ahead of schedule.

A father and son duo in Casco is trying to make the most of the jumpstart to the season. Bill Roethle explains how he tested the sap the previous weekend. “I tapped one tree, it was running in the afternoon when I tapped it and I left the tap out until today which is Thursday. I got almost two gallons out of that tap, which is a pretty good run, the weather has been good but again it’s early so that’s why we’re kind of cautious about just putting a sample tap out”.

Roethle and his son Brad were busy at work drilling and tapping into the largest maple trees that cover their five acres of land. The’re keeping a close eye on the weather and hoping it stays in the sweet spot for temperature swings.

Roethle says the thermometer has to make a jump when the sun comes up. “If it just gets 25, 28 in the evening at night then 35 during the day it really doesn’t run that good. It really runs good when it hits like 20 at night and 40, 45 during the day.”

With temperatures expected to reach 50 or above for the upcoming weekend, the sap run looks promising. Roethle predicts, “We’re going to get a good run, probably Friday and Saturday.”

There is such a thing as too much warm weather. If it doesn’t get cold enough at night, the sap won’t run because it isn’t allowed to warm up during the day.

On average, 40 gallons of sap is boiled down into one gallon of maple syrup. Roethle explains the upcoming stretch of consistent warm temperatures won’t yield much sap.

“The forecast for it not to go below freezing again probably not till next weekend, so I’m not really anticipating to get any more until maybe next weekend or the weekend after — which would be more normal — but I didn’t want to miss out on the first run here. We actually probably missed out on a significant amount of sap for this last week.”

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