Nature Notes

Maple Syrup

February 22, 2012
a person holding an insect

In preparation for our March 3rd maple sugaring program we thought we’d offer some sweet facts and figures to get your sap flowing:

The sugar maple is the New York State tree.
Other maples will yield sap – Norway, silver, red – but their sap is not as sweet as the sugar maple’s. Maples will yield their sap when nights are cold and the days begin to get warmer – this time of year. The warmer days create pressure within the tree which allows the sap to flow out of a hole or wound in the tree. The colder nights create suction within the tree which allows the tree to draw in water and replenish the flow of sap. Maple sugar was once seen as a solution towards ending slavery by providing an alternative to sugar cane. It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Some maple trees have been tapped for their sap every February/March for over 150 years. Maple syrup is made in no other place on earth except here, in northeastern North America.