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Mar 18, 2008 04:35 AM

Maple Sugar [Moved from New England board]

Being a flatlander...
OK it seems to me that this is good sugar weather. Someone in the know please confirm this.

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  1. Maple trees can tapped when the day time temperature rises to about 40 - 50 degrees and the night time temps go to freezing (32*F) or below. That rise and fall pushes the sap from the tree's roots up into the trunk and branches where it freezes. When the temps rise next day, the sap warms up. You can tap your own backyard Maple trees if they are 14" in diameter or more and are exposed to sun during the day. It takes 40 - 50 gallons of sap to make a gallon of maple syrup. It takes 4 to 6 weeks to get 40 quarts of sap from a single tree which would then make one quart of syrup.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Gio

      Would taking 40-50 gallons of sap effect a tree in a negative way. Isn't the sap the equivalent to blood in a human ?

      1. re: fruglescot

        FS: To quote the North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual,
        "Many people wonder if tapping the tree and taking away so much of the tree’s sap might harm the tree. In fact, when producers follow tapping guidelines, and tap only healthy trees, no damage to the tree results. It has been estimated that tapping removes only 10% or less of the tree’s sugar, an amount too small to hurt a healthy tree under normal environmental conditions."

        1. re: Gio

          SUGAR SUGAR
          My goodness Gio,, you're just a conucopia of distilled information.

      2. re: Gio

        This is definitely the season--we went out to a farm last weekend and they were going strong. And you don't get all 40-50 gallons from one tree!

      3. my mom said she just tapped trees in the past week-10 days. not all maple trees are sugar maples-- you should only attempt to tap trees and make maple syrup & sugar if you know what you're doing, but it's simple to learn. it gives you an appreciation for the enormous amount of sap it takes to make a pint of maple syrup, and the amount of human labor involved.

        3 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten

          had long conversation about maple decline in msp area with mom. apparently it's not as bad here as it is in the northeast u.s., but it has already impacted the sugarbush for many years now, and arborists and other scientists are keeping close tabs on the problem. when i would tap trees with her as a child, we'd tap 25-inch trees up to 4 times, but apparently they've only done 1 tap/tree no matter what circumference for the past 10 years.

          she personally tapped about 50 trees and will be cooking sap saturday and sunday. says sugar content is 2.5%, which is normal. last year it was 3% due to drought. how is it going in new england and canada?

          1. re: soupkitten

            A few weeks ago the Boston Globe had an interesting article about tapping trees for maple syrup and the current's a quote (from pg. 2) and the link:
            "Bad weather - usually too many warm nights or cold days in recent winters - has resulted in a shortage.

            McCrumm said maple forests are also under stress from acid rain, road salt, and other pollutants. The average retail price for maple syrup is $46 a gallon, he said; last year, it was about $43 a gallon.


            1. re: Gio

              interesting article, thanks Gio. :)

        2. Maine Maple Sunday is Sunday March 23rd. Each year, many maple farms throughout the state have "open houses" featuring sugaring demonstartions, free samples, entertainment, etc.

          More info at: