Not Threatened By Climate Change: Canada’s Maple Syrup

Guest Essay by Kip Hansen


maple_featuredIn its continuing advocacy of calamitous climate change stories, the New York Times runs a piece titled: “Syrup Is as Canadian as a Maple Leaf. That Could Change With the Climate” authored by Kendra “Gloom is My Beat” Pierre-Louis.**

She claims “In fact, climate change is already making things more volatile for syrup producers. In 2012, maple production fell by 54 percent in Ontario and by 12.5 percent in Canada over all, according to data from the Canadian government, because of an unusually warm spring.”

Golly, “fell by 54%”.  That’s got to be serious — oh, wait a minute, that was in 2012   — in Ontario.   Oh, and Ontario only produces a small percentage,  less than 5%, of Canada’s overall annual syrup output and less than 1% of Canada’s export syrup.

The Times claims “Warm weather can hurt syrup production because the process depends on specific temperature conditions: daytime highs above freezing with nighttime lows below freezing. This specific variation — which tends to happen as winter turns to spring…”.  That is almost true but syrup production does not depend on cold or warm spring weather, thus ‘warm weather’ is not a factor.  It is the difference between sub-zero (°C) nighttime temperatures combined with warm days that produce the best maple tapping time.   The hint is given to us when we see that Ms. Pierre-Louis has been forced to cherry-pick both the year  2012 and the Canadian province (Ontario) to use as examples.

Let’s look at the real data offered by the Canadian Government:


This chart spans the year 2012 and is very informative showing us how the Times article has spoofed the data to make it look as if Canadian Maple Syrup production will be or has been  harmed by climate change.

First, let’s look closely at Ontario as a syrup producer:  In 2012, Ontario produced only 3.2% of Canada’s maple syrup and in 2013 (an up year) it was 4.4%.

Agriculture and Agri-food  Canada makes these statements about the year 2012:  “In 2011, there were more than 10,000 maple farms in Canada, with over 44 million taps, for an average of approximately 4,000 taps per farm. The vast majority of these farms are located in Quebec, which accounted for 92% of the country’s total maple production in 2012. New Brunswick and Ontario also had a strong presence relative to the other provinces. The Canadian maple industry saw a 10% decline in the value of maple products from 2011 to 2012, from $339 million to $305 million.” and “Canada is also the world’s largest exporter of maple products, with exports valued at $278 million in 2013. Quebec accounted for 95.3% of Canadian maple product exports and New Brunswick for 3.7%, with the remaining maple-producing provinces accounting for only 1% of total exports.”

[All Canadian governmental information from reports available here.]

Without need to draw graphs of the figures provided by the Canadian government, we see that Ontario’s syrup production shows a decided up-down-up character, alternating good years with bad years 2008-2013.  But, overall, starting in 2008 and ending in 2013, Canadian Maple syrup production doubled.

Doubling hardly seems like a sign of imminent demise.

Now, I don’t want to be accused (or convicted) of cherry-picking.  So how have things fared since that little slice in time chosen by the Times to try to scare the naïve maple- syrup-on-our-pancakes crowd?


Bluntly put, Canadian syrup production is booming — up another 20% since 2013.  Ontario has an up year in 2017, but it is a small slice of the pie, around 3%

The Canadian Government tells us: “For the second year in a row, Canadian maple syrup production continued to increase. In 2017, Canada recorded the highest numbers in maple syrup production and value since the data started being collected in 1924. After falling for two consecutive years (2014 and 2015), maple syrup production reached 12.5 million gallons in 2017 (Table 1.3.), up 41% from 2015 and 3% from 2016. In 2017, the value of maple syrup amounted to $494 million (Table 1.5.), a 38% and 2% increase from 2015 and 2016, respectively.”

In my mid-Hudson Valley (New York) rural area, maple syrup is still practiced as a family art  each spring — with wood-fired sugar houses running day and night to evaporate off the water until the collected maple sap becomes maple syrup. It is my experience that there are good years and bad years, like any agricultural effort that depends on weather for its success.

 Ottowa  Ottawa, the capital of Ontario Canada, has monthly normal temperatures (1971-2000) as shown.  Maple sap runs during the time circled in red — when nighttime temps are sub-zero and daytime temps are above zero.


As for Canada’s national syrup production, since we’ve just lived through  “The 5 Hottest Years on Record” ?:


In that same time period, the five “hottest years”, Canada’s syrup industry has had four of the most productive years ever !   (2009 and 2015 were tied for fifth — I could have fudged it and called it five most productive years….).

Bottom Line:  Readers may rest assured that North America’s temperate forests with their millions upon millions of maple trees — three species of which produce the best sap — are not going to quit doing what they have done for millennia.    Where the trees are,  there will be syrup makers and pancakes to put it on.

# # # # #

** Kendra “Gloom is My Beat” Pierre-Louis  has chosen this moniker for herself, see the linked twit page.

# # # # #

Author’s Comment Policy:

Yes, I have made maple syrup from the sap of the three giant maples that grace our yard in front of our house with my kids when they were small.  One son makes syrup every spring  with a group of his neighbors.  Syrup is part of the ebb and flow of the seasons here in the northeastern United States.

No, I am not an expert on maple syrup but I have a sharp eye for cherry-picked and omitted data and a nose for BS.

I intentionally do not draw a “trend line’ on the annual syrup production graph — trend lines are simply another way of adding  artificial data to a data set.  The raw data is what it is — it is best left to speak for itself.

I am happy to answer questions where I can and to read your comments and experiences with the exquisite art of making and enjoying maple syrup.

# # # # #

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Mark Broderick
May 5, 2019 9:25 am

Kip Hansen

“Ottowa, the capital of Ontario”
Should be “Ottawa”

Great post, thanx

May 5, 2019 9:38 am

Ottawa is the capital of what?

Christopher Simpson
Reply to  BCBill
May 5, 2019 9:48 am

And is spelled how?

Reply to  BCBill
May 5, 2019 10:11 am

Well –that’s embarrassing! I should have paid more attention in 5th grade geography.

Ottawa is a capital, but it is the capital city of Canada, the nation. Ottawa is in Ontario. but Toronto is the capital of Ontario.

Thanks, this gave me a good laugh….

ferd berple
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 11:38 am

The capital of Canada is more than 1 trillion dollars. Unfortunately that is debt, not assets. But Trudope has promised that the budget will balance itself.

Extensive government studies have shown that if Ottawa was heaven forbid destroyed by a thermonuclear device, or worse by climate change, damages could run as high as $94.

Michael S. Kelly LS, BSA Ret.
Reply to  ferd berple
May 5, 2019 5:30 pm

Reminds me of a former boss of mine, who recalled the Texas City, Texas disaster: “A ship loaded with ammonium nitrate exploded in Galveston Bay, killing 581 people and doing $700 worth of damage.”

Bryan A
Reply to  ferd berple
May 5, 2019 7:56 pm

And I thought the Capital of Canada was “C”

Ancient Wrench
Reply to  ferd berple
May 6, 2019 6:24 am

Given the political climate, shouldn’t it be Das Capital of Canada?

Crispin in Waterloo
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 11:53 am

Toronto is not just the capital city of Ontario, it is the centre of the universe (COTU). This is common knowledge – ask any Torontonian.

Ottawa is in the centre of the Ottawa River, which is itself in the middle a lot of neighbourhoods built on the floodplain.

Now “Outaouis” is the name of a First Nations group from that area and a district in the province of Québec and includes the city of Gatineau (Hull, Aylmer, Gatineau, Masson-Angers, Buckingham), the Pontiac region, and the town of Maniwaki. It is located on the north side of the Ottawa River.

John M. Ware
Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 5, 2019 12:18 pm

We in Virginia know that the COTU (Capital of the Universe) is Ashland, VA, about 20 miles north of Richmond. The town has advertised itself as COTU for some time now, without any serious challenge. (Wait–are there two COTU’s?)

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 5, 2019 12:38 pm

No wonder I’m confused….

The Expulsive
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 12:05 pm

I thought the capital of Canada was mostly American, with a lot more from China and elsewhere.
For the record the syrup from Prince Edward County is the best in Canada.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 6:12 pm

Good article though. Personally I think invasive European worms (not that kind) are the cause of maple decline

May 5, 2019 9:57 am

Thanks, nice article.

Ottawa is mis-spelled in the article.

(don’t want to offend any Ottawans)


Reply to  a
May 5, 2019 10:26 am

I was told if the night time temperatures are below freezing and you get daytime temperatures in the 40s the sap just flows.

Fun post.

Reply to  Derg
May 5, 2019 12:44 pm

Derg ==> That’s the basic — the tree is shifting stored energy from the previous year down in its roots (more or less, simplified explanation) and as the days come upo above freezing, the sap begins to move up to trunk and out the branches to fuel the making of new leaves etc. By boring a hole through the part of the tree trunk that carries the sap, some leaks out into your bucket.

On modern commercial maple farms there are tubes attached to each bore-hole and suction (negative pressure) is applied — this allows more of the sap to flow in the tubes and be collected in tanks.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 3:27 pm

Excellent article Kip!

Since you mention the drip tubes here, I’ll expand a tad.

Syrup farms that install and run the drip tubes do not need a small army of workers carrying buckets to a collection tank.

However, those folks still installing a tap and hanging buckets are dependent upon labor when the trees are flowing. If labor is unavailable or in very short supply, the harvest takes a sudden drop.

Euell Gibbons; ‘Stalking the Wild Asparagus (1962)’, wrote about tapping maples and other trees, not just the sugar maples (sugar and silver maples); Euell tapped Black Birch trees.
While Black Birch twigs can be used to brew birch beer, that faint wintergreen flavor gets boiled off when reducing sap to syrup. And it takes a lot more gallons of birch sap to make one gallon of syrup.

Nor do birch trees reach the size and total productivity that maple trees do. When I briefly helped collect and carry buckets of sap, there were several behemoth maples with many buckets circling the trunk. Large maples frequently carried two and three taps/buckets.

I love maple syrup! I refuse to allow the imitation stuff in our house.

Reply to  ATheoK
May 6, 2019 7:17 am

ATheoK ==> Thanks for the personal experience. I haven’t tried birch tapping, though it would be possible in my area.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Derg
May 5, 2019 2:02 pm

Derg, …… you were told correctly.

Once the daytime Spring air temperatures increase to above 35/40F the Maple tree roots starts sucking up water and sending it up the tree trunk to the branches along with “stored sugar” from the roots, which is called “Maple sap”. BUT, if the evening/nighttime air temps drops back down below 35/40F that processes reverses and the “Maple sap” is sucked back down to the root system (supposedly to prevent it freezing in the branches)

Thus, a really good Maple sap “season” means lots of warm Spring days and freezing nights because the “tapper” bleeds off the sap each and every day as it is “coming n’ going” up and down the tree trunk.

And a really bad Maple sap “season” means lots of warm Spring days and very few if any freezing nights because when that happens the “tapper” only gets one chance at the sap “going” up the tree trunk. And that is not enough to fool with,

And “Yes”, I have “tapped” Maple trees and boiled the sap down to a syrup.

May 5, 2019 10:02 am

Sweet post!

R Shearer
Reply to  Cube
May 5, 2019 11:01 am

Sweet comment.

May 5, 2019 10:09 am

All your Maple Trees are belong to us.

Seems like the Climate Confusion Camp is jumping the shark.
As they seem inevitably to do.

No worries folks.
We’ll have maple trees and maple syrup for as long as it takes for the Chinese to get a taste for it.
Then, game over. ••• NOT •••

Just saying,
GoatGuy ✓

Larry in Texas
May 5, 2019 10:11 am

Well done, Kip. No cherry-picking on your part. I went and looked at that data set of the Canadian government’s, too. Very fascinating.

Speaking of “cherry picking,” I wonder how cherry production in the US and Canada has fared for those same years. . .

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Larry in Texas
May 5, 2019 6:27 pm

I went by cherry trees today. They are in full bloom.
Our own (about 6 trees) seem not so full of blooms.
Perhaps our recent frost killed a few of the buds.
Still we will have plenty.

Recently noted that local grocery stores (central Washington State)
are having sales on Maple Syrup. Hmmm?

John Dowser
May 5, 2019 10:13 am

Sadly for Kip Hansen, the NYT article did not argue at all for any current decline apart from 2012. The (still rather alarmist) point was that since 2012 had this “unusually warm spring” and the gloomiest climate scenarios would indicate the same pattern, this would become the new normal, for next generations.

As was clarified in the article:

” What I heard frequently from people was that they’re not concerned about themselves during their lifetime,” she said, “but they are concerned about future generations and their families.”

It’s not like I’m defending the scenario but Kip created definitely some kind of red herring out of this run of the mill NYT article which just speculated about a future generation of syrup harvesting. In other words, Kip is barking up the wrong tree, yet again (a nick name Kip “Barking Up the Wrong Tree” Hansen would be in order)

Reply to  John Dowser
May 5, 2019 10:40 am

John ==> The truth is that the Canadian Maple Syrup industry is literally BOOMING — it has been booming since 2008 while temperatures supposed have been “the hottest ever!” Despite that, the industry is not in trouble now and there is no indication whatever that it will be in trouble in the future. There is no evidence presented at all that the reason for the poor year in 2012 was “warm Spring weather.” It is always possible to say “I worry about the future.” When one does this without evidence of a problem — it is time to call for “senseless worry”.

If you read the NY Times piece and did not get that Canada’s Maple Syrup industry is booming than you have been ill-served by their journalism — they leave out the most important data and give only cherry-picked bad news and unfounded worry about the future. Thsat’s not journalism, that’s propaganda.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 12:19 pm

Mark Twain –
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

Reply to  Mr.
May 6, 2019 5:29 am


Another famous Twainism:

“Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

Seems apropos to the subject of this post.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 4:52 pm

Sadly, these days it is journalism.

May 5, 2019 10:13 am

Bottom Line: Readers may rest assured that North America’s temperate forests with their millions upon millions of maple trees — three species of which produce the best sap — are not going to quit doing what they have done for millennia.

In Canada they have been producing sap non stop for 18 to 20 millennia at most.

Oh, and the results from the last graph are not surprising. More CO2 and warmer climate means more sap. Water is not an issue in Canada.

Good article, as always.

May 5, 2019 10:19 am

I have yet to see a decline of any kind in maple syrup on store shelves. Depending on NYT as a news source has not been a good idea for a long, long time.

Bruce Cobb
May 5, 2019 10:20 am

A friend of ours produces roughly 1,000 gallons of syrup. Over the years, we’ve watched first his father, then him, go from a wood-fired operation requiring many hours of back-breaking labor, to a gas-fired with reverse-osmosis and miles of tubing plus a vacuum (negative pressure) system. There are good years, and not-so-good ones, that is all. Last year was great, this year, not as good (but not bad). Obviously, his overall production has increased greatly, but that is due to technology and also expanding the number of taps (some on other’s land).
Very much like farming, there are a mind-bogglingly number of weather factors which go into what ultimate production will be, including the decision of when to start. This year, for examle, there was a “false start”, with a temporary warm-up in February, and then a marked cooling in March. He went for it in February, others didn’t. The result was he did get some February production, but due to lowered efficiencies, it made that syrup a bit more costly to produce. It’s all a gamble. Sometimes you win, others not.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 5, 2019 10:25 am

Bruce ==> Thanks for the personal perspective. Thanks to friends like yours, we always have a special bottle of local maple syrup in our refrigerator alongside the store-bought Canadian syrup.

Reply to  Bruce Cobb
May 5, 2019 3:30 pm

I am simply gobsmacked at the thought of one thousand gallons of syrup! Or forty thousand gallons of sap.

May his sap collection and syrup production continue to fare well!

May 5, 2019 10:22 am

“a nose for BS”
is THE most important expertise for anyone to possess in order to acquire & maintain their rationality.
Sadly, such expertise is not mandatory to practise as a journalist these days.
(in fact, imo it is a distinct impediment when producing click-bait is the primary objective)

May 5, 2019 10:24 am

No lie is to bad not to be published in climate concern 😀

Reply to  Krishna Gans
May 5, 2019 11:46 am

The M.O. is:
Take a weather event.
Blame that perfectly normal weather event on climate change.
Use the perfectly normal weather event as proof that mankind is wrecking the planet by emitting too much CO2.
Repeat ad nauseum.

It’s easy and it’s cheap and it totally obviates the requirement for any mental exertion at all.

May 5, 2019 10:27 am

If I am not mistaken, in a less productive year the price goes up. So farmers can make more money (usually) than during bumper crop years.

Reply to  F.LEGHORN
May 5, 2019 10:42 am

Leghorn ==> I believe they have a strategic reserve to cover poor years….and keep prices stable.

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 12:05 pm

“Why Does Canada Have a Strategic Maple Syrup Reserve?”

“If you are trying to develop a market for something, you don’t want to create a demand and not be able to supply it,” Farrell said.

Reply to  F.LEGHORN
May 5, 2019 11:56 am


If I am not mistaken, in a less productive year the price goes up. So farmers can make more money (usually) than during bumper crop years.

Yes, price per product does tend to go up – certainly at the retail level, at the wholesale level also to a certain degree.
At the edge of the field?
No, not so much.
So, in a bad year (insects, drought, too wet (during plant or harvesting), or bad yield in general), the farmer gets about the same – maybe even less since the quality of what is available to purchase is less! – and the amount of crop is way, way down.

You’ll see that in the grocery store too: When there are abundant crop yields, the produce presented is higher quality and in greater amounts. The stores can be more selective in what is put in the produce trays.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  F.LEGHORN
May 5, 2019 12:42 pm

Maybe -but maybe the seller gets most of the increase/

May 5, 2019 10:52 am

Anthony, earlier this morning I saw a piece on your site by Willis that was very damning of the IPCC and AGW crowd, but I can not longer see it. What gives?

James Bull
May 5, 2019 10:55 am

Oh dear how sad to bad.
But you have to remember that it’s not about facts it’s about how you “feel” about it that matters.
If you fall for these sort of stories you obviously need help.

James Bull

May 5, 2019 10:57 am

Next thing the Alarmists will be saying is that rising CO2 levels will take the curve out of Canadian’s hockey sticks….

R Shearer
Reply to  Shoshin
May 5, 2019 11:25 am

What of the puck?

Reply to  R Shearer
May 5, 2019 6:56 pm

I’m sure if the CO2 levels get too high the Canadians will just get the puck out of there.

Ron Long
May 5, 2019 10:59 am

Good job Kip, you exposed a false comment about declining maple sap/syrup production by an AGW troll, and you appear to know a fair amount about this turning maple sap into maple syrup. So, here’s a question, how do you turn the maple leaf into money? It seems to be going down in value, as measured against the dollar, so maybe there is a negative climate impact after all?

Mark Broderick
Reply to  Ron Long
May 5, 2019 11:45 am

“how do you turn the maple leaf into money? It seems to be going down in value, as measured against the dollar “…..

With a Canadian version of Trump ?

ferd berple
Reply to  Ron Long
May 5, 2019 12:09 pm

how do you turn the maple leaf into money? It seems to be going down in value
Hard as it may seem to believe, back in 2012 the Canadian dollar was trading at par with the US dollars.

Why? Because billions of dollars were flowing into Canada to get a piece of the Oil Sands development.

Only problem was that after developing one of the largest oil reserves on the planet, roadblocks were thrown up to prevent the oil from being shipped to markets.

The investors bailed, billions of dollars left Canada, a couple of hundred thousand people were thrown out of work, and the dollar tanked.

The Bank of Canada responded by raising interest rates to try and stem the flow of capital, which threw even more people out of work.

But never fear. Canadians can take heart that at least 9000 jobs at SNC Lavalamp are safe. The largest manufacturer of lava lamps in the world and personal BFF of PM Trudope will yet save the Canadian economy.

Clyde Spencer
May 5, 2019 11:27 am

Nailed it, Kip! The problem is that the alarmists seem to have no shame and will say or do anything to promote their belief system.

Crispin in Waterloo
May 5, 2019 11:36 am

Like wine in Europe, there is a “Maple syrup lake” in storage in Canada. Supply is not an issue.

Waterloo is in Maple syrup country because it is a Mennonite activity – people willing to work hard in the cold.

The daytime temperature should be above zero so sap flows up, then below zero at night forcing it to retreat. As long as that variation continues, the sap flow continues up and down, with the longer seasons proving more dark syrup which forms later.

Eventually there is no reason for the sap to retreat to the ground overnight and it is time to quit. As you can see on the temperature chart, late Feb to mid-April has the right conditions, which vary from year to year. This was a cold year.

If you visit you can see the monthly temperature charts. February was a bit cold. From 10 March it was ideal. It continued through the whole of April.

Note the green patch on these charts. This was created recently on my request to be shown the historical range, instead of, “This month was above average!” sort of, by 0.1 C, with no reference as to whether this was outside the norm. Encourage others to show this range as well. Average plus-minus Sigma 1, for example. It makes for a much better representation of what is happening, which is nothing out of the ordinary.

Note that there was a new record cold set at the beginning of April. This went uncommented in the accompanying report. The station is rung by the usual alarming ideology so only record highs are mentioned. See March for another, and several tied or almost so in Jan-Feb.

For syrup, this is a good year. March was 15 C below average, April 1 C below average. Farmer’s Almanac was right and Environment Canada was wrong, even though FA went to press 6 months before Env Canada.

Reply to  Crispin in Waterloo
May 5, 2019 12:52 pm

Crispin ==> Thanks for the informative comment. I do like the idea of using a Range of Normal — as it allows knowing when things are more divergent than usual.

I’ll do a post on the 2019 syrup season as soon as Ag Canada makes it available.

May 5, 2019 11:41 am

Canada continues to suffer from the ignorance on this issue.

Journalists, academics, and governing elites …all support the scary man-made global warming narrative. The general public, especially the educated, have no clue, they can only believe in the climate change apocalypse prophecy that is already happening…storms, fires, floods, and maple syrup in peril. Our media (CBC, CTV, TVO, The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star) lap it up with impunity.

In Ontario the damage done from implementing “Green Energy Act” is horrific. Shutting down coal, refurbishing old nukes that should have been decommissioned, investing in wind/solar parks along with the necessary conventional back-up and creating an almost daily requirement for excess “alternative” power to be sold to the spot market for a fraction.

$Billions and $billions and $billions and $billions….A growing fiscal boondoggle of irresponsible spending unmatched in Canadian history.

ferd berple
Reply to  M.W.Plia
May 5, 2019 12:36 pm

$Billions and $billions and $billions and $billions
Oh. you can be sure that someone is making money from Climate Change (R) (TM). And you can be doubly sure it isn’t you. No matter what anyone promises.

There is of course no reason to place a carbon tax on ordinary citizens and then rebate them back. That simply introduces a huge overhead.

If you want to cut pollution then make it illegal with jail time for large corporations. Carbon taxes for large corporations will have no effect on pollution. The corporations will simply pass along the extra costs. In effect the Carbon Taxes simply become permits to pollute.

But if the government was to throw the CEO’s of large corporations in jail for pollution, it would stop almost overnight. All that is required if for the government to pass a law against large scale pollution, to make it a criminal offence. And no carbon taxes on the poor would be required.

And because this would actually work, don’t expect to see any action in this direction.

Reply to  ferd berple
May 5, 2019 3:09 pm

You forgot to mention that all the flurry of activity to prevent “carbon” from entering the atmosphere is just a made up joke. Maybe a /sarc tag would be appropriate here?

May 5, 2019 11:57 am

During the 80’s, acid rain was all the rage, and it was predicted that maple syrup would be a distant memory by the new millennium. I have to admit that I was a believer back then. Not to say there was no acid rain, but if a glass of water represents all the stresses to our forests, acid rain would comprise about three drops.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Kamikazedave
May 5, 2019 12:46 pm

There was something about maple tres dying a number of years ago. But we have seen nothing lately.

Reply to  Kamikazedave
May 5, 2019 4:25 pm

Most acid rain was generated by the smelters around Sudbury, Ontario. I worked for the Ministry of the Environment back then (a student) and we sampled over 100 lakes radiating out over 100 km from Subdury. Dozens were so acidic most fish had been unable to reproduce for years. Trees and other vegetation had been destroyed over 100s of sq km – it looked like the moon. Improvements to the smelting process saw a fast turnaround and was concurrent with Lyin Brian Baloney and his acid rain treaty with the US. When Sudbury’s smelters were cleaned up, the acid rain problem largely, magically, disappeared. Lyin Brian took the credit, but the improvements had little to do with him and Reagan.

Mark Broderick
May 5, 2019 12:01 pm

Believe it or not, Canada is very big country. For Maple Syrup collection, the date to start depends on the conditions in your area and the time duration that it lasts. There can be multiple chances per Spring.
( as kids we use to cross country ski for 8 hours a day on week ends. We never brought water because we had “Taps and Pails” along the routes to supply the energy and hydration required (drinking the sap on a sunny day was like drinking 5 coffees)). I miss being young…LOL….

Reply to  Mark Broderick
May 6, 2019 7:25 am

Mark ==> ” I miss being young…LOL….” as do I, my fried, as do I.

Jerry Palmer
May 5, 2019 12:14 pm

I think you should put a trend line on your graph. The IPCC would then latch onto it and proclaim that the entire planet will be knee-deep in maple syrup by 2030, yet another disastrous consequence of the demon CO2.

May 5, 2019 12:19 pm

in this area (central maine) lot of makers have had low year. not so much due to sap not running but the wild temp swings Jan to March crated mud and ACCESS issues.
trees may be flowing fine, but if you can’t get at them does you no good.

Reply to  dmacleo
May 5, 2019 3:00 pm

dmacleo ==> Thanks for the local news from Maine. There are lots of factors that determine how much sap and syrup will be produced each year in each area.

Jeff Alberts
May 5, 2019 12:32 pm

Where’s the data since 1924?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
May 5, 2019 1:06 pm

Jeff ==> AgCanada should have that somewhere — but maybe not online. The report format currently in use today only goes back to 2012 or so. I gave the link.

May 5, 2019 12:55 pm

2012 was also the year when over 3 million liters of maple syrup was stolen in Canada.

Reply to  gringojay
May 5, 2019 1:13 pm

Gringo ==> A fabulous and fantastic story : Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist.

Canadian Dollars 18.7 millions worth of syrup stolen from the strategic reserve (I bet some of you thought I was kidding above when I mention a Maple Syrup Strategic Reserve.)

Thanks for reminding us of this truly incredible story.

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 6:08 pm

The infamous Maple Job is actually a big reveal as to the true interplanetary strategic significance of maple syrup!

Don’t tell anyone, but they say that maple syrup is the secret fuel that powers all the Omicron Cetian starships!

(blank space — insert any other tabloid worthy drivel here)

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 5, 2019 8:01 pm

I just told someone about that a week ago as I was describing how I add two gallons to the Canadian total. I make it from Silver Maple and the syrup is very similar to the eastern type.

Reply to  Gerald Machnee
May 6, 2019 7:32 am

Gerald ==> The state of Minnesota provides a useful .pdf file on making syrup: quick quoting “Maple syrup can be made from any species of maple tree. Trees that can be tapped include: sugar, black, red and silver maple and box elder trees. Of all the maples, the highest concentration of sugar is found in the sap of the sugar maple.”
I am surprised my the inclusion of the Box Elder. and interested to know that it is a type of maple (though the leaves look anything but maple-ish.

J Mac
May 5, 2019 1:13 pm

Excellent expose’, Kip!

Bruce Cobb
May 5, 2019 1:30 pm

The other northern industry supposedly “threatened by climate change” is of course the ski industry. Not hardly. The ski industry is going like gangbusters. Oh, but they’ll whine, it’s “threatened”, so that means not now, but in the future. Sure, sure. Pull the other one.

Don K
May 5, 2019 2:39 pm

Not surprisingly for an industry that is largely cottage industry producers, there is at least one web site that specializes in syrup production.

“Climate change” seems not to be a concern of folks there, presumably because there are so many real problems that syrup producers face.

2019 season? Apparently about average in the US. Poor in Quebec.

Reply to  Don K
May 6, 2019 7:41 am

Don ==> In Canada, mainly Quebec, it is no longer a cottage industry, but a major industry. There are about 12,000 maple farms in Canada, collectively having 47 million taps. Gross value of the maple crop in 2017 was C$ 493,709,000 — nearly half a billion Canadian dollars. Most have shifted to high tech tubing and negative pressure systems — and many sell their sap to processors rather than boil it down themselves.

In my area of the northeast US, mapling is both an industry and a cottage family effort — many farmers supplement farm income with syrup production each spring, selling directly to customers (skipping the middlemen).

May 5, 2019 2:44 pm

Kendra “Gloom is My Beat” Pierre-Louis gets paid to publish fake news?

Reply to  Robber
May 5, 2019 3:04 pm

Robber ==> Gloom is on the NY Times Climate Team — the Climate Team has a strict editorial narrative that they have to write to — every story must detail how something good is going to be lost due to climate change. They are not required to do any real investigation — just find a negative hook and run with it. It took me only minutes to find that Canadian Syrup production is reall, in fact, booming!

James Schrumpf
May 5, 2019 2:57 pm

Vampiric humans keeping tree slaves in order to feast upon their blood.

Yum, who’s for pancakes!

May 5, 2019 3:19 pm

I’ve been able to use raw maple sap (from a neighbor – 5% SG) instead of plain water to brew beer.
Used a Pilsner yeast/grain recipe, it was very dry, but you could taste the maple, quite a refreshing highlight.
Just not as heavy as those which add the syrup to finish the brew…
The next experiment will be using Birch sap.

Reply to  Yirgach
May 5, 2019 4:19 pm

Yirgach ==> A very interesting idea….i’ll mention it to a couplew of home brewers I know.

Farmer Ch E retired
May 5, 2019 4:55 pm

If it weren’t for cherry picking, the alarmists would be hard pressed to have a scary story. If it’s not cherry picking of maple syrup production, sick polar bears, or tree rings, there would be no alarm. I wonder if the tree used to reconstruct the hockey stick was a cherry tree?? / s

I can speak with authority as in my cherry farming days, we would pick in excess of 1 MM cherries in a given season. ;<)

Reply to  Farmer Ch E retired
May 6, 2019 7:47 am

Farmer Ch E retired ==> I’ve never picked cherries (except to eat ripe off the tree). They are so small….have picked commercial pears in Oregon though — they are bigger and one feels more productive picking fifty pounds at a time into a special bag hung around one’s neck. Pears, of course, are picked when full size but stil green and hard — if picked ripe, they’ve gone by.

There were strict rules — absolutely no pears could be picked up if they had fallen or been knocked (by the pickers) onto the ground. Very strict rule. However, pickers were welcome to pick up these fallen pears for their own use — a real boon.

May 5, 2019 5:12 pm

Easy to explain this….The Maples evolved after the MWP.

May 5, 2019 5:12 pm

The NYT item you cite, like everything else to do with Global Warming was reported in New Zealand, of course.

Your facts were not reported here.

Nothing new about that.

Our media was going ballistic on Cyclone Fani for several days until it finally dawned that one Category 4 cyclone 20 entire years after the last one could hardly be blamed on the Cause of Everything, so they changed that to “biggest in recent years.” But when Indian authorities proved much better than Texan ones at protecting the citizenry from even a big storm, our media lost all interest and didn’t even report how India so successfully dealt with it.

Reply to  David
May 6, 2019 7:50 am

David ==> US media, including the YTimes, did report on India’s successful plans to evacuate people threatened by Fani. Here and here.

May 5, 2019 9:11 pm

I was in Costco this morning, here in Melbourne. The shelves were stacked with Canadian maple syrup. But I bought a bottle, just in case. (Strategic reserve!!!)
Also, given that the sap is distilled down to one gallon from 40, why are none of the greenies complaining about maple syrup’s carbon footprint?

Reply to  William
May 6, 2019 7:52 am

William ==> Even greens love the magic maple elixir ! Modern processing uses reverse osmosis to remove excess water and produce syrup….although most artisan produces in my area still use large shallow pans heated by wood fires.

Scott W Bennett
May 5, 2019 9:18 pm

Canadian maple syrup production down 22% in 2018: Unusually late snow and cold weather result in the lowest production levels in three years*

They’ve already fingered “climate change” for last year’s production but this time it’s the cold what done it! I guess that qualifies as more volatile, shame about the fact that production from 2008 increased by 244% to 2017 dropping back to a shocking 190% increase for the period to 2018! 😉


Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Scott W Bennett
May 6, 2019 2:23 am

Whoops! My rusty math above; minus 100 from my figures. Percentage increase doesn’t look as impressive as it actually is though! ;-(

Reply to  Scott W Bennett
May 6, 2019 7:55 am

Scott ==> Whenever I trry to use the Statistica site, I hit a pay wall. Have you got an “in” there?

Scott W Bennett
Reply to  Kip Hansen
May 6, 2019 9:07 am

No Kip, weird though that it worked for me when I first went there but now it is asking me to subscribe. I wouldn’t have posted the link otherwise. I should have captured an image of the relevant graph. I’ll know next time!

Good post Kip,

I do enjoy your intelligent and well constructed reportage!

Mike Maguire
May 5, 2019 11:32 pm

Terrific article Kip!

Plant studies with elevated CO2 levels of course show increased growth. However woody stemmed plants do best, trees especially.

Sugar Maple trees outperformed almost all others. With the environment enriched from increasing CO2 by 300 parts per million, in 22 studies, they found an average increase in biomass of 113.8%.
That’s more than doubling!

Sugar Maples love CO2 even more than your average plant.

Maybe at the magnitude of the increase but then again, plants don’t follow political narratives from scientifically challenged humans that state “CO2 is pollution” or “carbon pollution is causing a climate crisis”.
Plants and trees, know that we are actually experiencing a climate optimum(still short of global temperatures experienced during the Holocene Climate Optimum, just over 5,000 year ago)
They use the extra CO2 as atmospheric fertilizer via the irrefutable scientific law of photosynthesis.

Sunshine +H2O +CO2 +Minerals =O2 +Food(sugars)

“The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) was a warm period during roughly the interval 9,000 to 5,000 years BP, with a thermal maximum around 8000 years BP”
“The Holocene Climate Optimum warm event consisted of increases of up to 4 °C near the North Pole (in one study, winter warming of 3 to 9 °C and summer of 2 to 6 °C in northern central Siberia).”
“Out of 140 sites across the western Arctic, there is clear evidence for conditions warmer than now at 120 sites. At 16 sites, where quantitative estimates have been obtained, local HTM temperatures were on average 1.6±0.8 °C higher than now.”

Reply to  Mike Maguire
May 6, 2019 7:58 am

Mike Maguire ==> Thanks for providing the longer view…and the links to CO2Science. This subject is an interesting thing to watch work itself out.

May 6, 2019 1:56 am

Thanks, Kip, lots of memories brought back by your article. We try to get over from the UK every couple of years when finances allow to see our Canadian cousins who live in an idyllic (in the summer!!) spot on the NB coastline. A couple of visits have coincided with the maple sap gathering season and the vision of the tap lines running down the hillsides will always be with me. I was unaware that negative pressure was applied to aid the flow – seems obvious now you’ve explained.
However, my overwhelming memory will always be of a visit to a maple sap processor who demonstrated to us the simple conversion of syrup to maple butter. Having agitated the syrup for a while with a stirrer he took it out of the vessel with a golf ball sized lump of butter on the end. He offered this to my wife who was standing at the front, presumably he anticipated she would take a small fingerful, instead of which she wolfed the lot to the amusement of everybody except herself. The expression on her face was a delight! “But they call it butter”, she had not caught on to just how sweet it would be.
It’s reassuring to know that the industry is booming and has a bright future.

Reply to  PeterGB
May 6, 2019 8:01 am

PeterGB ==> Gratifying to know that my small efforts to bring a little light to this propaganda darkened topic brought fond memories to a reader. Thank you for sharing.

May 6, 2019 11:59 am

Thanks for another well considered debunking of environmentalist propaganda.
It strikes me that Climate Change is the new Primary Sin of Humanity wrt Maple Syrup production taking over from the Acid Rain overegging, although if one googles maple syrup and acid rain, there is still activity on that issue.
Tom Lehrer’s humorous work certainly seems timeless. I’m constantly reminded of him by many issues that are still current.
“Pollution” by Tom Lehrer

From recollection, in the late 70s or early 80’s one started to get Acid Rain panic in Algonquin Park (Ontario) literature. This went on as I recall for about 5 or 6 years, until they finally realized that the dire predictions weren’t happening.
It seemed plausible as the Nickel mining and smelting operations at Sudbury Ontario were not too distant as the crow flies, and also because there are indeed acidified lakes closer to Sudbury.
However I think Inco had put up their super stack in 1972.
At the time I certainly took the scare seriously, however in retrospect it was another overegging of claims that I didn’t recognize at the time.

P.S. Growing up in Montreal, spring Sugaring off was a yearly tradition with Maple taffy on snow, and French Canadian Pea Soup. Good Times

Gary Pearse
May 6, 2019 7:05 pm

Kip, I had a farm in Eastern Ontario to raise 6 kids on plus two nieces that their parents couldnt look after adequately. We made several hundred gallons and a few hundred pounds of sugar using a cast iron bath tub which I bricked in with a firebox underneath it that could take cordwood logs. We boiled down and then finished it in in the kichen. Man, the soles of our boots were sticking to the floor as we transferred the nearly boiled down sap in buckets.

One mid march, it froze up again something fierce and a dozen plastic garbage pails of sap froze right up. I wondered if the liquid expelled the sugar as it froze. I chipped some of the ice and put it into a pot and boiled it down. Sure enough, there was no sugar in it! I let the pails thaw until I could remove about 3/4 of volume as barren ice and found we could boil the concentrated liquid down quickly. It worked out just fine.

You can also boil sap from birch trees but it is typically 80gal to a gallon of syrup, double the water of the maple. The sap of both trees can be drunk as a tonic. Its very refreshing right from the tree. Birch sap is glucose and maple, sucrose. Not well known is yo.u can also tap the trees in the fall, but I don’t know anyone who does this .

Reply to  Gary Pearse
May 9, 2019 6:47 am

Gary ==> Somehow missed your comment earlier. Thanks sharing your personal experience. We too did some finish mapling in the kitchen –the condensation from the boiled off water washed the walls, unfortunately, not evenly. Had quite a time cleaning everything up.

Reply to  Peter
May 8, 2019 8:07 am

Peter ==> Repeating the same untruth over and over generally is successful in getting the unthinking to believe it.

May 8, 2019 8:09 am

Trend Line ==> I mention that I did not draw a trend linbe on the Syrup Production graph in the Author’s Comment Policy section.

Briggs explains why here.

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