Our one wonderful shade tree in our backyard is a maple tree. I'm not sure what kind of maple tree it is but we found out it had plenty of sap once it started running!
First we drilled two holes in the trunk as it came up from hefty roots and had divided into strong limbs above. We drilled on opposite sides of the tree. After drilling we inserted this metal spout. The barb sticking up anchors what you hang from it to catch the sap (bucket handle, etc.).
For this experiment, I used two quart canning jars with wire bent around the top to secure it to tree. You can kind of see that the sap is clear...like water. This tree was right next to the house if it were farther away I would have used a bucket or something larger. As it was we were emptying the jars every half hour during the sap running time of each day. Sap really poured for about 8 to 10 hours each day.
We ended up collecting 80 some quarts (or we stopped counting at that point) of sap in a few days. We plugged the tree at that point. It would probably be best to cook it down outside as you wouldn't want the sticky residue in your house. The sap darkens as it cooks down. A friend of mine boiled this over an outside grill.
Here's an example of the sap cooked down to MAPLE SYRUP. You can see the darker color.
Instead of using the syrup as syrup, I decided to try to make maple candy. So I cooked the syrup down some more and poured it into cookie cutter molds and let it harden. Caution...the candy was super sweet.
I grew up and have lived in Iowa until recently when I moved to a small town in Illinois to begin a new chapter in my life which includes a loving supportive husband and numerous grandchildren to spoil. I have three beautiful daughters and a Miniature Schnauzer. I'm interested in anything that supports healthy families and healthy lifestyles.
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