Maple sugar makers facing challenges after October wind storm


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The October wind storm is still causing problems for people all over the region– such as maple sugar makers.

Palmer Lane Maple’s storefront in Jericho finally got power back five days after the wind storm tore through. However, that’s just the beginning of clean up.

“Another thought is what’s happening in the woods?” Paul Palmer said. “How much clean up am I going to have to do? How many lines do I have to fix? Really this is the first time I’ve gotten out to the woods to take a look.”

Paul Palmer said he’s living his childhood dream owning 37 acres of maple trees and lines in Jefferson. His thoughts walking through the woods Friday afternoon were different than usual.                                                              

“It’s mostly about how much time and I going to have to spend cleaning up?” Palmer said.

Palmer discovered trees pinning lines to the ground. Some trees were small enough for him to pick up and move aside. Larger trees, Paul said will take days to clear with a chainsaw.

“It’s an agricultural business like anything else,” Palmer said. “It could be a drought. It could be pests. This just happens to be wind.”

Palmer said the damage done on his land wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been, but others weren’t so lucky.

Executive Director of Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association Matt Gordon said he’s gotten calls from maple producers reporting damage. He said anywhere from mild damage like Palmer’s trees have been reported to extensive damage like Hidden Mountain Maple in Lincoln, Vermont.

“In some ways I think we dodged a bullet verses a storm like this happening in the winter or in the spring time,” Gordon said. “It’s gives producers time to repair.

The Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association is asking for more maple producers to call and report damage to get a better idea of how much federal funding the association can ask for.

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