March should be peak time for tapping maple trees and making syrup, but this winter has been so unusual that the 'normal' in this business is off, too.
Dale Moser, from Croghan (Lewis County) says they're just starting to tap in the North Country, but in parts of Western New York, where it's been warmer, the sap has been rising for several weeks now. Ideal maple sugaring temperatures are just below freezing at night, then up to 40 or better in the daytime. 50s make the trees bud, not good for the flavor of sap. And Moser says the lack of moisture (snow) this year may also make a difference for this year's crop.
Maple Sugar Producers have open houses for their Maple Weekends, March 17 & 18 and 24 & 25, 10am - 2pm.140 sugaring operations will be open will be open for free looks at the diversity of products made from maple syrup. Check the website for exact locations.