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How Maple Syrup is Made

Updated: May 3

The Anishinaabeg have been making maple syrup - ZIISSBAAKDOKE for centuries during ZIISSBAAKDOKE GIIZAS or sugar moon in March. During this time, we are encouraged to balance our lives as we would our blood sugar levels. Aannii (hello), Bozhoo (welcome), my name is Corey Kinsella and I am the Technical Advisor of Physical Sciences and Traditional Lands for Cambium Indigenous Professional Services. Today, I am going to show you how maple syrup is made.

I've been making maple syrup since I was a kid growing up in the Buckhorn area. For

me, it is a special time of the year when we come together as a family and kick off the spring season.

Making maple syrup is more of a tradition in my family. It is a time for us to shake off the winter blues and to get outside to enjoy the spring weather.

The process to making a maple syrup is not a very complicated process but like most

recipes, it takes time, patience and some love to create a perfect batch of maple syrup.

When I was asked by one of my team members about how maple syrup is made, I jumped

at the chance to explain how I go about making my maple syrup. Below, I will explain how maple syrups is made (in step by step format).

Step 1: Find a Maple Tree Stand

The first step to making maple syrup is to identify a maple stand that has enough trees to make the desired amount of maple syrup. Two full size maple trees will produce between a half and a full gallon of maple syrup.

To make 5 gallons of maple syrup, you will need to tap between 10 and 15 full grown sugar maple trees.

Choose a maple tree stand with enough maple trees to make the desired amount of maple syrup
This old maple tree is perfect for collecting sap!

You will need to judge how much maple syrup you need compared to how many sugar maple trees your have access to.

Step 2: How Big Should A Sugar Maple Tree For Tapping?

A maple tree should be at least 8 inches in diameter to tap for maple sap

Ideally, you want a maple tree that is at least 8 inches in diameter. This type of maple tree will produce between 10 and 20 gallons of maple sap which will yield a quarter gallon of maple syrup.

Step 3: Tap The Sugar Maple Tree

The next step is to tap the tree (s). There are a variety of methods that can be used to collect the sap. The first and easiest method is the collection pail method. I prefer to use a collection pail kit specifically for maple sap.

The kit contains five, 2 gallon sap buckets, five lids and sap spouts. All you need is a drill with a 1/4 inch drill bit (or you can do this manually), and a hammer.