Only One Good Run of Sap So Far in Allegany County


This season promises to be the poorest in many years in the

Allegany county sugar bushes. Up to date there has been only one good

"run" of sap and the output of Allegany county maple syrup will be

much less than last year. Some farmers have as many as 1,000 trees

tapped, but the average sugar bush is about 200 trees.


Usually Allegany county produces about 250,000 pounds of maple

sugar but this year the output will be much less. The quality of

Allegany maple sugar and syrup is very fine and it has a good

reputation in the city markets. The sugar bushes have suffered

severely during the past three years. For two seasons the forest

worms stripped many bushes and some of the finest trees in the county

were killed as a result. Then the big ice storm of last year did so

much damage, ripping limbs from thousands of trees which had to be

cut and marketed in order to get anything from them.


Twenty years ago the method of gathering sap and making sugar

was much different from that of today. Then troughs hollowed out of

sap pines were used to catch the sap, the spiles of which were sumac

and the sap was boiled in big iron kettles.


The modern way is to use patent metal spiles, tin sap buckets

and galvanized iron pans for boiling, the latter resting over brick

arches. In the southern part of Allegany county natural gas is used

exclusively under the big sap pans and the process is a smokeless

one. It is the ideal fuel for reducing sap to sugar.


Pure maple sugar retails in Allegany county stores at ten cents

a pound and pure maple syrup retails at a dollar a gallon. Some years

sugar sells as low as eight cents a pound and syrup at eight cents a

gallon, but prices this year may not reach that point owing to the

shortage in supply.

Researched & Submitted by Richard Palmer.