Farmer Dana Putnam tries to tap a maple tree for sap, but is unsuccessful. His trees are producing less sap as the climate changes.
Emma Newburger | CNBC
ORANGE COUNTY, NY — Dana Putnam drilled into a maple tree, added a plastic tube and waited for the sap to flow.
It’s the end of winter — prime tree-tapping time for New York maple farmers. But for Putnam, a fourth-generation maple farmer, last week was too hot for the trees to properly freeze, thaw and produce sap.
After weeks of experiencing hotter temperatures, Putnam is anxious his season will end early. And he’s only collected half of the crop yield he says he should already have at this point.
“If we don’t harvest enough syrup, we’ll have to buy it. That changes our cost structure entirely,” Putnam said. “I think about climate change and whether or not this maple business will be viable in a decade — it might not be.”
Maple trees won’t produce sap unless they undergo freezing and thawing cycles. But in New…