‘This is our forest’: Climate change means uncertain future for maple trees, syrup season – USA TODAY
- Indigenous people tapped maple trees for centuries, but the warming climate is changing sugar season
- Warming temperatures and extreme weather stresses the maple trees
- Syrup producers are taking steps that extend their seasons
- Maple tapping season could start weeks earlier by end of century
For centuries, the Abenaki people of the northeastern U.S. and Canada looked at maple sap as a gift from their creator, arriving at a time just before spring when their ancestors’ food reserves were low.
But the sweet, amber syrup and the people who produce it today face an uncertain future. The continent’s iconic sugar maple trees — revered for their sap and fall colors — can’t escape the changing climate.