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Tapping My Maple Trees

Tapping My Maple Trees

Late last winter I discovered that trees other than sugar maple could be tapped and the sap turned into syrup. I was very excited to try this with our two silver maple trees, but it was too late in the winter for me to gather supplies and try it before spring. At the time it seemed a long time until the next winter.

But of course, winter arrived, although it didn’t feel much like it. We had many days of 60 degree temperatures in January but eventually it got down to business, dropping both the temperature and quite a lot of snow.

Warmer days returned and last week I began my experiment. We started with a single tap in one tree just to see what would happen.

The next day we did another and then the following day we tapped the second tree. We only collected sap three days total and ended up with two gallons of sap that looked like this:

That isn’t a lot of sap when you consider that even with sugar maple trees it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup, but we decided for our initial venture it was enough. Really, we just wanted to try it and see what happened. We also didn’t have time to spend days tending a pan of bubbling sap all day.

We boiled the sap in our biggest stock pot on the backyard grill. I’d read it’s better to do it outside since there is so much evaporation and the steam can be sticky.

At the end of six hours our two gallons of sap reduced to the point where it covered the bottom of our stock pot to the depth of about two inches. At this point, I transfered it to a smaller pan and brought it indoors so that I could keep a closer eye on it.

Another hour or so of boiling and we were left with about six ounces of golden colored syrup.

It’s very sweet and the flavor is quite different from syrup from a sugar maple. We’re looking forward to trying it on pancakes later this week.