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The Timing of Tapping for Maple Syrup Collection

There are a variety of reasons why sugarmakers might want to tap earlier than the traditional date: thousands of taps that take several weeks to install, lower snow cover and easier walking before mid to late winter, climate change generally moving the season forward and providing more sap flow weather in January and February. For most sugarmakers, the bottom line is simply this: what tapping time frame results in the highest sap yield? The experiments described below, which were performed between 2000 and 2007, were designed to answer this question.