Record low temps cause grief for syrup producers

Maple Syrup

SALEM, Ohio (WKBN) — The state of Ohio is the sixth largest maple syrup producer in the country. However, the record-setting cold in February made it impossible for syrup makers to start their process.

This weekend is really the start of maple-tapping season in the Valley. Unfortunately, local syrup producers said the blistering cold winter has delayed their syrup-making process.

Sunday was the first day warm enough for Phil Greenisen to tap his maple trees.

“We think about tapping trees around Valentine’s Day, around mid-February. And of course, with the extremely cold weather, and continuing extremely cold weather, we have not been able to tap trees,” said Phil.

But this weekend’s warmup finally got the maple sap flowing.

“And even then, some trees are actually running and some trees are not,” he said.

Phil and Marge Greenisen have been making maple syrup on their farm in Salem for 20 years. Once the sap is collected, they take it to their sugar house to boil, filter and bottle.

“We hopefully will be boiling syrup by next weekend. Weather forecast looks good: Warm days, cold nights, and that’s what we’re looking for,” said Marge.

However, the late start means a short season for making syrup. The Greenisen’s can only tap trees until early April, when the trees bud and the syrup loses its sweet taste.

“It is a lot of hard work, but we do enjoy it, because it is a harbinger of spring. And we cannot wait for the warm weather to come and stay,” finished Phil.

The warmup comes just in time for Maple Madness next weekend. The Greenisen’s will be one of 45 farms in the state inviting visitors.

Click here for more information on how you can participate in this year’s Maple Madness.


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