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How to Extract Maple Sap from Maple Trees

Posted 10/07/2014 3:57 pm by


Practically everybody loves it: that rich, delicious, sticky manna known as maple syrup. It graces our pancakes and adds distinctive flavor to recipes. It’s an all-natural sweetener that keeps for a very long time, especially if you refrigerate it after you open it.

Unopened, it will last for years if it was sealed properly. But how do you extract maple sap from trees? Actually, it’s not as hard as you may think, though it is a bit labor-intensive.

The History of Extracting Sap from Maple Trees

This practice is most certainly a North American tradition. Native Americans used to gather sap from the trees by making gashes in it. Settlers (or maybe the Native Americans) evolved the process to include a drilled hole with a wooden spout that allowed the sap to run straight into a bucket. Next came metal spouts and spigots.

Commercial production, and even many individuals now use a piece of PVC or a specially-made spile that connects to tubing that runs into buckets or a central piping setup that runs straight to a “sugar house.”

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