Whole Leaf Tobacco

Tapping trees for syrup

Danny M

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
66
Points
33
Location
Berry KY
The resulting sap of various trees ranges from 40:1 all the way to 100+:1 (100 gallons of sap make 1 gallon of syrup).

Bob
This article was pretty informative. I never knew some of these trees were usable.
 

deluxestogie

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
May 25, 2011
Messages
18,057
Points
113
Location
near Blacksburg, VA
Box Elder:
"The sap has been used to make syrup by Native Americans, including the Dakota, Omaha, Pawnee, the Ponca, Winnebago, Cree, Sioux, and the indigenous people of Montana. The Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache dry scrapings of the inner bark and keep it as winter food, and they also boil the inner bark until sugar crystallizes out of it. The Cheyenne mix the boiled sap with shavings from the inner sides of animal hides and eat them as candy. The Ojibwa mix the sap with that of the sugar maple and drink it as a beverage."​

Bob
 

ChinaVoodoo

Moderator
Joined
Sep 1, 2014
Messages
5,985
Points
113
Location
Edmonton, AB, CA
No, you won’t kill the tree. 2-3, 1/2” holes are all you need. I talked to my dad though. He’s like me, I don’t think you’re going to like anything coming from that tree unless you know something I don’t.
I read a few websites that said Manitoba maple (box elder) produced a sap that had to be boiled down 60:1, and was more like birch water than maple.

I'll probably just drink what little I get.
 

Danny M

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 7, 2021
Messages
66
Points
33
Location
Berry KY
Never tried Box Elder. I’m not sure if the sugar content is high enough. If you’re going to do it you’d better get started though. This is the month to do it. Depending on the size you can run more than one tap to the tree. What you need as far as weather goes is freeze/thaw cycles in case you didn’t know. It boils down 50:1, or 50 gallon to make one gallon of syrup.
The article that Bob posted says the boil rate for Boxelder is 60:1
I read a few websites that said Manitoba maple (box elder) produced a sap that had to be boiled down 60:1, and was more like birch water than maple.

I'll probably just drink what little I get.
I’m going to look for some Walnut trees to tap today. We have a slew of sugar maples that we tap when we can. The walnut will be new to me. The sycamore also.
 

burge

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2014
Messages
1,298
Points
83
Location
Alberta
We had sugar maples. I m wondering now if you could make it in a microwave
 

Amberbeth84

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
83
Points
53
Location
Indiana
Since I tapped on Saturday, I've collected almost 7 gallons of sap. My partner picked up some cinder blocks and steam table trays yesterday and we built our very basic evaporator. I'm starting to think it's possible we'll end up with a goodly amount of syrup for what amounts to only a little bit of work.
received_699455430720804.jpeg
 

skychaser

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 30, 2012
Messages
808
Points
93
Location
NE Washington
Thanks for starting this thread China. I knew you could tap Paper Birch but that the sugar content was pretty low. And I was told that you couldn't tap any maples other than sugar maples. Well, thanks to this thread and a little on line research, that turns out to be wrong! I have 3 large Norway maples that are 20' from my house. The little one is 22 inches across and the big one is over 36 inches. I love those trees for the shade they make and the beautiful golden leaves in the fall. Although I hate raking up all those leaves and every November I threaten to cut them down. lol And I have a few more that are a bit further from the house.

A few years ago a lady who buys produce from us gave us a quart of real Vermont maple syrup. She gets several gallons shipped to her every year. (she's rich) And OMG was it good! After tasting REAL maple syrup, there was no going back to the artificial cheap crap made from corn syrup ever again. And you only need to use half as much. A little goes a long way. So I have ordered some taps which will be here in a few days. This is the perfect time to do it and the day and night temps are just getting to the right place for the sap to start running. This is going to be a fun little project that won't take up all my time. And I have this small mountain of branches piled up waiting for the chipper that will be perfect to use for boiling the sap down. Win Win. Leaf raking season is going to be a little less painful next fall after a big pancake breakfast covered in my own home made maple syrup. :D
 

Amberbeth84

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
83
Points
53
Location
Indiana
Do you get much wood smoke in the syrup? I don't have much good quality wood but I could probably burn free pallets.
I didn't taste much in the way of smoke, but the flavor was darker than commercial syrup. How much of that was due to smoke and how much was due to using red maples instead of sugar maples I couldn't say. I would recommend making sure your fire is hot enough to have stopped smoking much before you put your sap on it.
 
Top