|“When made in small quantities – that is, quickly from the first run of sap and properly treated – it has a wild delicacy of flavor that no other can match. What you smell in freshly cut maple-wood, or taste in the blossom of the tree, is in it. It is then, indeed, the distilled essence of the tree.”
- John Burroughs, Signs and Seasons 1886.
|Sugar Maple Trees|
We’re often asked whether any maple tree of sufficient girth can be tapped for syrup production. The answer is yes….and no.
All maples will yield sap – so will some other hardwoods, for that matter. However, one species of maple, Acer saccharum, known as Sugar Maple, Hard Maple or Rock Maple, accounts for most of the sap used in making maple syrup.
Of the 13 species of maple native to the United States only two other varieties Acer rubrum, or Red Maple and Acer nigrum, or Black Maple are of much consequence in syrup production. Black Maples make their largest contribution in the maple producing regions of the Midwest and Central Appalachians. Until recently Red Maples weren’t tapped because their sap is far less sweet than the sap of the Sugar Maple. Recent developments in reverse osmosis and vacuum technology have made tapping these trees much more feasible for sugarmakers.