Maple Sugaring Frequently Asked
1. When is maple sugaring
In New Jersey, the height of the season is late Frebruary thru mid-March, when
we have freezing nights and thawing days.
2. What kinds of trees
Syrup can be made from the sap of any native maple, as well
as from Black Walnut trees and some fruit trees. Sugar Maples
are preferred because their sap has the highest sugar content.
3. What is sap?
Sap is a solution of water, sugar and minerals. In the spring, sugary
sap is delivered to the buds so that the new leaves can grow. These leaves
will manufacture sugar during the summer; the sugar will be stored in the tree
for the following year's new growth.
4. How much sap do we take
from a tree?
Our Sugar Maples yield sap at the rate of about one gallon per tap hole per
day during the height of the season. This means that each tap yields
enough sap to make 1-2 quarts of syrup.
5. How much syrup
can we make from one gallon of sap?
About 2 1/2 ounces. It takes 40 gallons of Sugar Maple sap to make one
gallon of syrup. For other types of Maples it takes even more sap to make a
gallon of syrup.
6. How do we make
syrup from sap?
Boil, boil, boil...until most of the water in the sap has been evaporated. The
remaining amber liquid is syrup, which is passed thru a cloth filter to remove
7. How do we tap a tree?
In the side of a tree, we drill a hole 1/2 inch in diameter by 2 inches long. We
insert a metal tap, or "spile" into the hole and attach a container
to catch the dripping sap.
8. What size tree do we
The tree should be at least 12 inches in diameter. We add 1 tap for each
additional 8 inches of diameter. For example, a 30" tree could have
up to 3 taps.
9. Does tapping injure
No permanent damage is done to the tree as a result of tapping. ONly
10% of the tree's sap is taken.
10. Are the tap holes
plugged at the end of the season?
No. The tree will close the hole naturally.