Maple sugaring is sweet fun

Maple sugaring is sweet fun

Spring temperatures are right for maple trees to be flush with their sugary sap. Used to cure meats, as an anesthetic and a breakfast table staple, maple sap has been collected and used by hundreds of generations.

The process of collecting during the Sugar Moon season remains basic and timeless:

  • Tap a tree – Most maple trees produce clear “sweet water” sap, but sugar maples have a higher sugar content. Traditionally, the spout called a spile was wooden, but modern, metal spiles are available. The size of the tree will determine the number of taps.
  • Be a bucket filler – The weather determines how fast the sap runs. After a bucket is filled, the sap is strained to remove debris and carefully boiled until it becomes syrup.
  • Cool and enjoy – The all-natural sweetener is delicious topping off a pancake or waffle or on its own as a sweet treat.

Tap into Girl Scout fun

Girls Scouts of all levels are invited to experience maple syrup making first-hand at Wolcott Mill. Register today for this immersive maple sugaring experience. It’s sweet to be a Girl Scout!

Sweet facts about maple syrup

  • Depending on environmental conditions, one maple tree can produce 6-10 gallons of sap per season.
  • Sap straight from the tree is about 98% water and only about 2% sugar.
  • One gallon of syrup requires about 40 gallons of sap.
  • A maple tree should be around 45 years old before being tapped. The tree can produce sap for 100 years.
  • Michigan typically is sixth in the nation for syrup production.
  • Michigan’s neighbor, Canada, is the largest producer of maple products in the world, exporting 75 percent of the world’s supply.
  • Sap collection ends when tree buds begin to open.
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