Maple producers weather storm after storm

Christopher Gooding
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Little damage to trees, taps reported

RODNEY – Despite Mather Nature’s winter-wrath, maple producers in the region are reporting minimal damage to trees and lines.

Maple producers are reporting minimal damage to tree and lines this winter as a January thaw makes it easier for clean up in advance of the production season.

First the snow came in heavy waves, then it was ice, and now a January thaw is making it possible for producers to inspect their sweet little corners of Cumberland County and the diagnosis so far is good. The heavy snowfall preceding freezing rain and ice before the thaw was so great, many lines had very little give if at all.

“There’s been very little tree breaks or line breaks,” Matthew Harrison, Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia president, said. “A lot of lines were buried before the ice came and all of the rain has been good.”

Maple producers from across the region will meet on Saturday in Truro when a better sense of what damage occurred can be made, but there’s a lot of optimism leading up to the annual general meeting.

“The ice storm, as with everybody I think, isn’t too bad,” producer Kevin McCormick said. “It came off with just some minor issues and we’re cleaning up now. We’ve seen a lot worse but this mild spell for cleaning up is going really well.”

And, McCormick, if the advice of the old timers holds true, the present January thaw could mean a good season when sap starts running in March.

“The old timers say for every big thaw we have means a big run,” McCormick said.

The ongoing, above freezing temperatures is pretty normal for this time of year, McCormick said, but cautioned it’s a trend that can’t last.

“We all now winter is on its way back.”

 Nova Scotia is home to over 70 maple producers, selling over 140,000 litres per year. Direct sales to individuals account for approximately one quarter of all maple syrup sales in the province.

Organizations: Maple Producers Association of Nova Scotia

Geographic location: Cumberland County, Truro, Nova Scotia

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