Fall Foliage on the Farm

Fall Foliage (Driveway on the left, Sweet Trees on the right)

I often think Christmas trees are green with envy because they take center stage just one time per year while sugar maples play leading roles twice; at fall foliage and again during sugaring. The sugar maples on display by our driveway, at field’s edge, and along the stonewalls is a true natural wonder. During this time of year maple trees are a joy to behold.

Later this winter, we’re not so carefree as we walk through stands of maples. When the new year arrives with snow and cold winds, we’re spurred on through the woods with a clear sense of purpose. Downed limbs are lifted off tubing lines, tubing installations are checked for tautness, and drop lines are replaced or outfitted with new spouts. When the sugaring season arrives, it’s work time. We’re thrilled to work with healthy maples of substantial girth and the natural inclination to move sap.

In the fall of 2010, Jeff completed a senior capstone project for his forestry degree from Paul Smith’s College in the Adirondacks. The project involved planting new maple saplings in an old pasture field. Now nine years later, we're getting a good sense of how the new maple planting will turn out. The majority have grown in height and diameter. Some of these saplings have the genetics to be super sweet trees once they reach maturity and can be tapped. These young maples pictured above on the right hold great promise for a sweet future.