Maple syrup makers say warmth good for now, but not for long - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Maple syrup makers say warmth good for now, but not for long

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Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington said a good sap season may be underway. (WFSB photo) Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington said a good sap season may be underway. (WFSB photo)
BURLINGTON, CT (WFSB) -

With one warm winter day over the weekend in the books and another on tap for Thursday, maple syrup makers said they're thrilled.

The syrup season has officially commenced in Connecticut.

Rob Lamothe of Lamothe's Sugar House in Burlington said his family has been tapping maple tree sap for 46 years.

"You get pumped up, you really do. You get very excited," Lamothe said.

He said the key, as with all agricultural endeavors, is the weather.

"Typically, if we get down around 22 degrees at night and maybe 40 to 45 degrees during the day, we're going to have a run," Lamothe said.

At the Sugar House, he has an area known as the sugar bush. It contains more than 100 taps and a network of tubing in the trees. Thousands of gallons of sap was gathered on Monday alone.

Over the next few days, Lamothe said he hopes to gather quite a bit.

Some syrup producers said they were able to tap into the trees back in January.

Others did not tap in until last weekend. Still, it is considered a good start to what can be a very short season.

Lamothe said his only concern is if the warming trend continues through March.

"If it stays too warm, the bacteria goes up that [and the] whole process stops," he said.

Several years ago, Lamothe said the season ended abruptly because of the weather. Last year, he said it was so-so.

This year, he believes he'll have a good sap supply.

However, Mother Nature has to hold off on a full-blown spring for another month or so.

"We're right on target," Lamothe said.

On Tuesday, Gov. Dannel Malloy visited Winding Brook Sugar House in Hebron for the ceremonial tapping of the first maple tree to mark beginning of maple syrup season in Connecticut. 

According to the governor's office, there are nearly 200 producers of maple syrup in Connecticut, which accounts for over $2 million in sales each year. There were more than 86,000 trees tapped in Connecticut in 2016. They produced 20,000 gallons of maple syrup.

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