Easy Maple Syrup
Maple Syrup can
be collected easily from your back yard Trees,
without special Tools and Equipment.
You will need a Flower Pruner or Kitchen Scissors
to cut off low-hanging Branch terminal tips where they are 3/8" thick.
Then a clean
plastic Tubing with a 1/2" hole, is slipped over the cut
Branch and fastened to it.
The other end will go into a clean Bucket or plastic Bag. If you live in a windy area, you may want to fasten the Tubing along
the Branch to the Tree Trunk. The Tubing must drain downward with no
A "Twig Tap" will rival the production of a Trunk Tap, with much less
work and potential damage to the Tree. And several can be used on much
smaller Trees than Trunk Taps can be used on. Tapping one Branch of a 3" diameter Sapling should do it no harm.
Prepare the Tubing by slitting it down the middle for a length of 4 to
12", so it will reach anchoring Twigs. One or both of the
resulting halves can be used to fasten the Tubing to the Twigs.
You don't need tools to make holes in the Tree Trunk, which is
injurious to the Tree and invites Disease and Insect predation. Broken
Limbs and Twigs are common in Nature, and seldom effect the health of
the Tree. A few pruned Branches should go unnoticed.
do this at home !
There are way too many Taps.
And the poor Tree is wet from leaks around the Taps.
the Sap to a
slow boil, and stir it often. As it thickens you must stir it more
frequently to prevent it from scorching. When a Candy
reads 7 F. above the temperature of boiling water, then it's time to
remove it from the heat and put it in the refrigerator. This
temperature is important.
To determine the temperature of boiling water at your altitude, put an
inch or two in a pot with a Candy Thermometer in it. When the water
begins to boil, take the reading from the Thermometer, and add 7 to it.
Remove the Syrup from the heat when it reaches that temperature. The
Temperature will be about 220 F.
takes about 10 quarts of Maple Sap to make 1 cup of Syrup. You can boil
it down on a Kitchen Range, in a Pot with a wide bottom. A 4-quart Pot
can be used, but an 8-quart is better.
Don't fill the Pot, as the Sap tends to boil over. Add more Sap as it
evaporates. Be sure to have your
Range Hood running; the steam tends to be sticky where it condenses.
You may prefer to boil it on an outdoor Grill.
begins to flow when the daytime temperature approaches 40 F.
In the Mid-Atlantic States, that's early March. It will
continue intermittently for several weeks, until buds begin to swell
and treetops take on a reddish look. Then the Sap changes flavor and is
no longer suitable for making Syrup.
You can even skip the plastic Tubing,
and tie a plastic Bag directly to the cut-off Branch,
if you're available to keep it emptied.
Maple Syrup can
be stored in your Freezer.
Maple Trees are
not all the
same. The best Syrup comes from
Sugar Maple/Hard Maple/Rock Maple.
Other species may be used,
but the Syrup flavor may be less desirable.
and Branches are typical of a Maple Tree.
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