March 22nd was a cold, windy yet sunny day. The temperature hovered around freezing so the sap in the sugar maple trees was a slow drip. We talked about the change in fluid pressure in the tubes inside the maple trees that allow us to get the sap while the trees are still dormant. Warm sunny days and cold nights are ideal for sap flow. This year has been a slow year for sap since the conditions have not been ideal. At night the tree branches cool down and cause a low pressure in the trees which sucks more water into the roots. During a warm day, the liquid heats up in the tree and expands, creating an increase in pressure that pushes the sap out of taps and into our buckets! This process happens again the next night. Yum… the sap was sweet and then when the water is evaporated off of the sap when boiled for a while we tried the super sweet syrup.
We also walked in the forest and learned about the many tree species we have here and what products and services they provide for us and the other animals. Nick made a twig key to help with the identification of the trees without leaves. Here is a photo;
We then tested our tree identification skill with a tree hunt in the forest using a compass.