“Sugar Maples are AMAZING trees,” proclaimed one Blandford BEEP (Blandford Environmental Education Program student). The Blandford School students each have their own Maple tree they tapped and work to help collect the sap.
As part of Blandford Nature Center’s Mentorship with the Blandford School, the Environmental Education team – working with Kristin Tindall, Blandford’s Master Naturalist- wrote down some interesting facts about the making of Maple syrup.
Thanks to the work of Blandford School Students, Zach Rubingh, Jonathan Lundberg, Lily Gloege, Adrinanna Stack, here are 11 facts about the production from the sap to the Maple Syrup.
11 Michigan Maple Facts
- Sugar Maples can have a trunk up to 5’ diameter and 135’ in height and live up to 300 years
- An average tree with one tap can produce as much as 1/2 gallon of syrup or 4 lbs sugar
- Approximately 1% of the maple trees in Michigan are utilized for the production of maple sap.
- Warm days above freezing and cold nights below freezing are ideal for sap flow. The sap runs up the trees to the buds on warm days and back down to the roots on cold nights. We are able to collect the sap going up and on its way back down.
- At the beginning of the season the sap is approximately 3-5% sugar and at the end of the season the sap is approximately 1-2% sugar.
- Sugar maples are preferred because their sap has a higher sugar content than any other type of maple, but any maple tree can be tapped and its sap turned into syrup.
- The sap is collected from the buckets on the trees by the students from Blandford School and C.A. Frost schools.
- We use an evaporating pan to turn the sap into syrup. Nothing is added to the sap. All we do is evaporate the water from the sap until the syrup has a sugar content of 66%.
- It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
- One cord of firewood (4ft x 4ft x 8ft) will heat enough sap to make approximately 20 gallons of syrup.
- Syrup is bottled in our certified kitchen at 180°F.
In case all these facts about Maple syrup makes your mouth start to water, Blandford Nature Center’s gift shop has Maple sweet treats available now. You’re also invited to come out to join in a variety of Maple-themed community programs. You’ll have a chance to enjoy the sights, smells and tastes of the Sugarhouse; practice tapping a tree; and step back in time to discover how pioneers and Native Americans made maple syrup.
Source: Michigan Maple Syrup Association http://www.mi-maplesyrup.com/