Maple syrup facts and trivia
George Washington had an extensive maple farm with over 3000 taps each!
Thomas Jefferson once mentioned to the Continental Congress that the Colonies must stop relying on the over-taxed ‘slave sugar’ shipped in from the sugar cane fields and every American with a woodlot in their back yard could do their part by producing maple sugar.
Maple Syrup is produced nowhere else on Earth, except northeastern North America.
Most species of Maples can be tapped, but the Sugar Maple yields the most syrup per gallon of sap.
Trees may be tapped as early as the end of January, but the main sap flow occurs in March.
A maple tree is at least 30 years old and 12 inches in diameter before it is tapped.
A tree is usually not mature enough for permanent tapping until it is 45 years old.
A Sugar Maple may yield sap for 100 years or more
As a tree increases in diameter, more taps can be added: up to a maximum of four.
Tapping does no permanent damage to the tree and only about 10% of the tree’s sap is collected each year.
Each tap yields an average of 10 gallons of sap per season: that yields about one quart of syrup.
Warm sunny days (above 40 degrees F) and frosty nights are ideal for sap flow.
The Maple season may last 4 to 6 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for only 10 to 20 days.
Sap flowing in high volumes is called a “run.”
The harvest season ends with the arrival of warm spring nights.
As soon as the buds begin to swell in April, the sap becomes off-flavored or “buddy” and collecting is discontinued.
30-50 gallons of sap are evaporated to make one gallon of syrup.
Maple syrup is boiled even further to produce Maple cream, sugar and candy.
It takes one gallon of syrup to produce eight pounds of candy or sugar.
A gallon of Pure Maple Syrup weighs 11 pounds.
The sugar content of sap averages 2.5%
The sugar content of syrup averages 66.5%.
It takes a lot of sap to make Maple syrup and candy. That may be why many people no longer make it. Or it could be that the environment is changing with global warming and many areas no longer have the right environment to have the sap flow properly.
Maple trees have also had several diseases over the last several years and many have died.