Maple Syrup Facts
Just the facts…
♦ Did you know it takes about 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup? That’s the equivalent of 1,642,233 drops! The sap in Ontario, Canada is usually between 1 1/2 to 3 per cent sugar. The sap must be boiled down for hours until it is 66 to 68 brix (roughly per cent) sugar! That’s a super concentrated solution.
♦ Maple trees which are tapped, only lose about 10% of their sap during production runs. It doesn’t hurt a tree. Each tree can be tapped for years and years and years! There have been trees which have had 20 buckets put on them at one time… the industry no longer recommends it though. Usually the max is 4, if it’s a big tree. The number of taps, depends on the circumference of the trunk.
♦ Originally, the native Americans collected sap from the trees by cutting a gash in the trunk with a tomahawk, then inserting a piece of bark or wood to direct the liquid into birch bark containers. They would hollow out fallen trees, pour the sap into the hollow, then add rocks which had been heated in their fires. This process would take weeks! Finally, they would end up with a syrup or quite often, they would repeat the process until they had a crystallized sugar. The early settlers almost always turned the sap into sugar. It was easier to handle and since they did not have a ready source of cane sugar, the maple provided them with sweetener all year long.