Climate Change impacts Maple Trees & Syrup Production


Tonewood participated in Climate Impact Day in Waitsfield, Vermont with and 350 Vermont on Saturday, May 5th, 2012 to raise awareness of the affects of Climate Change on maple trees and maple sugaring in Vermont.  Video of the event can also be viewed.

Research by the USDA Forest Service and a study released by Cornell University demonstrate changes in climate have already had an impact on the iconic sugar maple trees of the Northeastern US and could eventually affect maple syrup production.   Research shows that climate change stressors may decrease the availability of maple syrup or shift production northward by the end of the next century because of direct changes in temperature, decreases in snowpack or increases in weather disturbances such as ice storms.

Scientists who have studied the impacts of climate change on Northeastern forests warn that warming winters and nights have the potential to wreak havoc on these seasonal rites of passage by making our climate less hospitable to sugar maples and changing the character of our northern forests.

Most disturbing are the results of ecological modeling efforts that show the changes in climate could potentially extirpate the sugar
maple within New England. The maple syrup industry is an important part of New England character, way-of-life, and economy that, because it is highly dependent upon prevailing climatic conditions, may be irreparably altered under a changing climate.

By Gary Lauten, Barrett Rock, Shannon Spencer, Tim Perkins and Lloyd Irland

Dori Ross


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