The maple syrup production process gets its start from one of nature’s true phenomena. In springtime, when the nights are still cold, water from the soil is absorbed into the maple tree. During the day, the warmer temperature creates pressure that pushes the water back down to the bottom of the tree, making it easy to collect the precious maple sap. The sap is gathered over 12 to 20 days, usually between early March and late April, according to the region.
How Maple Syrup is Made – Maple Tree Tapping
How many times you can tap a single tree is calculated based on the tree’s diameter, health and growth rate. Any maple tree measuring about 8 inches in diameter or more can be tapped. It is allowed to tap larger trees more than once (for every additional 20 cm) during maple harvest season, up to a maximum of three taps per tree and season. With these regulations, the tapping does not affect the growth of maple trees.
Producing Maple Syrup – Maple Syrup Evaporation
After harvesting in the maple woods, the sap is transported to a sugar house where it boils down to become real maple syrup. During cooking, storage tank pipes feed sap to a long and narrow ridged pan called an evaporator. As it boils, water evaporates and becomes denser and sweeter. Sap boils until it reaches the density of maple syrup. About 40 liters (10.5 gallons) of sap boil down to one liter (about .25 gallons or one quart) of pure maple syrup. For other maple products – butter, taffy, or sugar – the sweet syrup is further boiled in the evaporator to the temperature necessary to produce the different types of maple products. After evaporation, the finished products get bottled or canned, and are shipped to their final destinations.