February 28, 2023 Sap Flow Report

Sap Flow Overview

The freeze has set in in the majority of the province, and little sap was collected in the past week. Producers are using this time to regroup and get organized if they have already tapped, to fix leaky lines, and to clean out their evaporators if they have been able to boil. The freeze is expected to last for a few weeks in the colder parts of the province. Southwestern Ontario was the only region that had significant sap flow in the past 7 days. In Southwestern and Waterloo-Wellington, there seems to be general optimism for a prolonged season.

Thanks to all who contributed their observations this week. I will send out another reminder to fill in the survey next Monday.

For the sap flow report below, find your region here.


Southwestern had some strong runs last weekend and into the middle of the week, which slowed down in the past few days with the colder weather. Brix ranged from 1.4 during the large runs up to 2. Golden and amber syrup is being made, and flavour has been excellent. No filtration issues have been reported. Producers have made from 30-93% of an average year’s crop, with some having already reached 1L syrup/tap. One producer reports seeing some bud swell in soft maples, with some associated cloudy sap that has since cleared up with the colder temperatures.


There was low to no sap flow in the past week due to the freezing weather. Producers are taking the time to repair vacuum leaks and some are getting ready to open their pancake houses to the public. Sap brix ranged from 2-2.5, with amber syrup being made. Flavor was also excellent and no filtration issues were reported. Producers have made 10-80% of an average year’s yield.

Grey-Bruce & District

Sap did not flow this week in Grey-Bruce and most folks do not have much of a crop yet. Some are worried about long term weather. The snowpack is still present but, as expected, noticeably smaller than other years.

Simcoe & District

No sap flowed in this region in the past week, but so far producers are making golden to amber syrup with excellent flavour. Folks have made from 5%-45% of an average year’s crop. One producer commented that their syrup was darker than it normally is this early in the season.


Many folks here are still waiting to tap after the cold weather lets up. Those who are tapped generally have experienced limited if any sap flow since mid last week. Folks are using this time to clean out their evaporators. One producer reported lots of niter produced in the last run.

Lanark & District

Producers over a thousand taps and and above seem to be mostly finished tapping. There was no sap flow in the past week and one producer is reporting a deep snowpack hindering tapping. Producers have made 0-15% of an average year’s crop.


Producers here range from untapped to completely tapped. There was no sap flow in the past week. One producer has made about 3% of an annual crop. Another producer reports a 30cm snowpack with good moisture in the sugarbush.

Quinte & District

Producers with over 1000 taps seem to have mostly finished tapping. Sap flow seems to have stopped for everyone by Wednesday of last week, with one producer reporting sap brix of 2.0-2.2. This producer made very light amber syrup that was sweet but without much maple flavour. Another producer reported that sap Brix started at 2.1 and rose to 2.5 as of 2 weeks ago, which is consistent with their usual mid-season reading. Producers have made from 5-30% of an average year’s crop.

Ottawa Valley District

Most producers here have yet to tap and expect to be waiting for at least 2-3 weeks. One smaller producer has completed tapping but has not collected sap this week due to the weather.

Algonquin District

Some folks in this region started tapping in the last week or plan to in the coming week and to use the cold to get better organized. Those who are tapped did not get significant sap flow in the past week. Many are still waiting to tap, mostly smaller producers under 1000 taps. Snowpack is reported in several bushes, though there are comments of it being smaller than usual. No reports of sap Brix or syrup were submitted.


Some producers have not yet begun tapping while others are in progress this week. No sap has been collected yet. One producer remarked that the record low snowpack makes this the only year they haven’t needed snowshoes while tapping.

Spotted Lanternfly Summit 2023

Spotted lanternfly is an invasive insect that poses a particular risk to Ontario’s grape and nursery industries, but can also impact young maples. A Pennsylvania State study has shown that short-term, heavy feeding by spotted lanternfly adults can impair young maple tree growth by up to 50%. It is in everyone’s interest to be on the lookout for this insect before it find its way to Canada.

Click here for an introduction to the pest.

Closeup shot of pale pink and brown spotted insects with folded tent-like wings cluster on a tree trunk. There are over a dozen insects in the photo.
Spotted lanternflies congregating on tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). Photo: Eric Dale Creative, Adobe Stock.

A virtual summit is being hosted by the USDA and Cornell University on March 1 to March 2 on spotted lanternfly control and preparation for its arrival. Registrants will also receive the recorded presentations. Presentations that may interest woodlot owners include:

  • Use of soybean oil for control of SLF egg masses and an effective egg mass trap – Phil Lewis, USDA
  • Life history traits of spotted lanternfly when feeding on grapevines and tree of heaven – Flor Acevedo, Pennsylvania State University
  • Host suitability of temperate wild and cultivated host plants – Laura Nixon, USDA

For more information and to register, click here.

Funding Opportunity – Cost-share funding to support species at risk habitat on Ontario farmland available in 2023

The next week of cold weather may be the perfect time to apply for this funding if you would like to protect any of the following species at risk found on your property: Loggerhead Shrike, Henslow’s Sparrow, Barn Swallow, Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, Grasshopper Sparrow, American Badger, Little Brown Bat, Eastern Foxsnake, Gypsy Cuckoo Bumble Bee, Rusty-patched Bumble Bee and Monarch.

Species at Risk Partnerships on Agricultural Lands (SARPAL) is an Environment and Climate Change Canada initiative that is focused on working with farmers to support the recovery of species at risk on agricultural land. SARPAL funds conservation actions currently focused on supporting 12 target Species at Risk.

What it is:

  • SARPAL offers 50 per cent cost-share funding to support farmers and agricultural landowners in providing habitat that supports species at risk
  • Accepting applications for projects such as tree and shrub planting, wetland and grassland restoration, cross fencing for rotational grazing and fencing to exclude livestock from woodland areas
  • Applicants can submit one application and receive up to $20,000 per farm business

Intake: March 1, 2023 – March 8, 2023 at 5pm EST

The Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association is delivering this program. The application link and other information can be found by clicking to the SARPAL page. For more information, contact Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association, sarpal@ontariosoilcrop.org, 519-826-3035.

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2 Responses to February 28, 2023 Sap Flow Report

  1. Beth Meszaros says:

    Where does Durham Region fit in your districts?

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