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 air traps.

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.

Don't do this at home !
There are way too many Taps.
And the poor Tree is wet from leaks around the Taps.

Bring 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 Thermometer 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.

It 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.

Sap 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.

Opposing Twigs and Branches are typical of a Maple Tree.

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