The maple sugaring season in New Hampshire usually lasts about six weeks from mid-February to mid-April, depending on the location. When nighttime temperatures are below freezing and daytime wind chill temperatures rise to 35 F or more, the sap begins to run.
It will not run every day if weather conditions are not right. Ideal conditions for good sap runs occur on sunny days with little wind and temperatures in the 40s after a night of temperatures in the 20s. Maple syrup is produced when the sap of the maple tree is boiled down to the density of syrup. Nothing is added, and only water is removed. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap from a sugar maple to make one gallon of maple syrup.
Taken 2/29/12 in Washington, New Hampshire USA. Nikon D300, 18-200 Sigma Lens, 200 ISO, handheld, f/5, Photomatix and finished in Picnik (1 raw image).
(“For the trees to give their water in abundance, there should be at the base of the trunk a certain amount of snow, which keeps the water fresh. It should freeze during the night and the day should be clear, without wind and without clouds; because then the sun has more strength, which dilates the pores of the trees, and which the wind closes – so much so that it stops running.” Joseph Francois Lafitau, Mceurs des sauvages Ameriquains, 1724)