Making Maple Syrup

Maple Syruping Can Be a
Fun Family Project

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Making Maple Syrup 6

Several species of maple trees grow in Minnesota. Though all produce sap suitable for making maple syrup, two species of sugar maple (acer saccharum) and black maple (acer nigrum), are the source of sap for most commercial maple production.

Sap suitable for conversion into syrup may also be obtained from red and silver maples, though such sap usually has a lower sugar content.

Visit Minnesota during the maple sap run to learn how this is done.

Just when winter is leaving Minnesota and the first spring weather appears, the sap begins to run.

A great cure for a winter of staying in is getting out in the woods and makeing maple syrup that you can use in on your pancakes and in maple syrup recipes all year long.

Making Maple Syrup Basics:

Maple sap runs best when daytime temperatures are in the high 30s to mid-40s and overnight temperatures are below freezing. This cycle of above-freezing days and below-freezing nights needs to continue for several days, although nature occasionally has been known to provide a good run under less perfect conditions.

Some sap may flow as early as January or as late as May, but the typical time for a "good" sap run, and for making maple syrup in Minnesota, is March 15 to April 20. Sap is converted to syrup by boiling off most of the water content of the sap, which leaves the sugar and flavor behind. It usually takes 30-40 gallons of sap from a sugar maple to produce one gallon of pure maple syrup.

Maple on Tap: Making Your Own Maple Syrup

Equipment Needed to Gather Maple Sap
and Make Maple Syrup

Making Maple Syrup
  • A drill with a 7/16- or 1/2-inch bit for drilling tap-holes in maple trees.
  • A metal or plastic spout for each tap-hole.
  • A collection bucket, plastic bag or tubing line for each tap-hole.
  • A large kettle and a heat source for boiling down the sap. The size depend on how much sap you intend to boil.
  • A large-scale thermometer calibrated at least 15 degrees above the boiling point of water.
  • Filtering material that can be used for filtering finished syrup while still hot.
  • Storage containers for the finished syrup.

Beginning in early March, Minnesota State Parks will be hosting programs to show you how to tap, collect and process tree sap into syrup.

Visit Cass Lake Minnesota during maple syruping time and you may be able to visit a "sugar camp."

Experience Making Maple Syrup 

If you are inn, or near, the Twin Cities, you can learn about making maple syrup at the Tamarack Nature Center.

The center is located about 20 minutes north of downtown Saint Paul. From Saint Paul, take I-35E north to Highway 96, go east on Highway 96 to Otter Lake Road and turn north. Tamarack Nature Center is located about 2.5 miles on the left side of the road.

Tamarack Nature Center

5287 Otter Lake Road

White Bear Township, MN 55110

651-407-5350

We don't all have the opportunity to make our own maple syrup however we can always indulge in Coombs Family Farms 100% Pure Organic Maple Syrup

Making Maple Syrup


A Great Maple Syrup Making Video


Several places in Minnesota offer opportunities to learn to make maple syrup.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources sponsors many programs for families. This downloadable document will give you a wonderful introduction to the making of maple syrup. 

Maple Syrup Making as a Family Project

Maple Syrup Recipes



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