Tapping sugar maple trees has been a long tradition in New York State, and legend has it the first tree was mistakenly tapped by a Native American chief practicing tomahawk throwing. Warm days and cold nights are ideal for sap flow, and therefore, the typical sugaring season usually runs from late February through early April. The harvest season ends with the coming of spring's warm nights and the first stages of bud development on the trees.
Last year's maple season ran from March 8 until April 8. With 1.48 million taps, maple producers were able to make 322,000 gallons, 44 percent more than the previous year due to a nearly perfect season of cold nights and warm days. It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
New York maple syrup accounts for nearly 20 percent of the nation's maple production, ranking New York second for production and value. In 2007, New York's 1,500 maple producers generated $7.5 million in sales in 2007.