Thursday, June 1, 2023

Our sour syrup is in danger

Give the maple a boost

Aided by migration, an adaptation strategy to climate change, it is often cited as helping northern maple colonies.

But the situation is much more nuanced. In addition to the quality of the soil, the current climate is not yet conducive to maples at the end of the century.

Today’s efforts may therefore not yield the expected results.

“The sky will eventually soften,” explains Sylvain Delagrange. Growth will continue soon. But now we plant trees in those difficult conditions. And before we have trees ready for production in the north, it will take even longer. »

Shared by Sergio Rubeis.

The expert suggests that the greatest production of maple is now at the northern border of the region, where the climate is already favorable for maple and which can remain, even in the worst of its climate. “It would be an idea to look for countries in which we could think of a different production, more adapted to the new conditions, without even moving further north.” »

There is a lot of unrealized potential north of the city of St. Lawrence, such as in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Outaouais.

Before we enter the boreal forest, this stripping of the territory would therefore have all the advantages. This would be an opportunity to develop new northern sugar bushes there, favoring the most resistant maples.

Prevention rather than cure

Unless you are an expert at midnight.

Most of the regions where maple cultivation has been developed for 10 years, and which have experienced the greatest growth in the number of taps, are facing uncertain climatic conditions due to global warming.

“The flow of power, especially in southern Quebec, is at risk,” worries Sylvain Delagrange. And, although alternative solutions have all been devised, there is very little leeway to preserve maple syrup production due to climate change.

“This type of production does not allow for adaptation,” laments Sergio Rossi. It is impossible to simulate the freeze-thaw cycle necessary to harvest the juice.

“Everyone agrees that the first thing to do is to reduce greenhouse gases and reduce the effects of climate change, Sylvain Delagrange insists that we keep as long as possible what is naturally laid, or we certainly don’t. We lose it too quickly.”

This industry generates hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual income in Canada.

With global warming, growing maples is much more valuable, according to a professor specializing in plant ecophysiology and prioritizing over logging.

“The forest emits air, it fixes carbon in the long and for a natural habitat,” he mentions.

“The same hectare of forest, if we use it for the production of syrup, is so little important that all the other natural services it provides us are hardly tolerated. And in addition, we have this added economic value. »

— Sylvain Delagrange, University of Quebec in Outaouais

According to the expert, it is not only economically viable to grow maple trees, but especially ecologically responsible.

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Daniel Blanchette-Pelletier given to the reporter; Isabella Bouchard data analyst; Melanie Julian desk manager; Francis Lamontagne designer; Charles Debons illustrator; André Guimaraes and Mathias of Saint Lawrence keyboard Daniel Jazzar language reviewer and Martin Roy coordinator

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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