Preparations are underway for the 2018 season. Fallen trees have been cleared from the lines and repairs completed before the snow arrived. There will still be some pipeline repairs at the start of the season as branches are always falling on the lines. This years supply of bottles and labels and other supplies are on hand so we are ready for the first drop of sap.
The big question this year will be if the forest tent caterpillar returns. We had a severe outbreak in 2016 and we sprayed with Bt in the spring of 2017 which was very affective in controlling but not eliminatring this pest.There is a widespread outbreak of this caterpillar across Canada and in the US. It is naturally controlled by other insects that lay eggs in the caterpillars but it takes a while for these populations to build up in quantity. The trees can survive two or three years of infestation but it uses up the sugar reserves in the tree and reduces the sugar content in the sap. It can kill the trees if the infestation is prolonged and accompanied by a drought. We are checking for egg masses to see if we need to spray again and so far have not found any significant quantity of eggs.
All our usual activities are planned again this year along with our usual range of maple products