Mar 20, 2014

Black Maple is the New Sugaring Maple. Got Brix?

Climate change is stressing Sugar Males trees in the upper Midwest. Drought tolerant Black Maple is the choice for future syruping operations. It is more drought tolerant, smaller, and just as sweet. As the prairie moves in from the south, Black Maples from Iowa can be integrated into Minnesota and upper latitudes to ensure a constant flow of product. Maple Syrup is supplied to the world from the Northern United States.

Maple syrup can be made from all maple species (sugar maple, black maple, red maple, silver maple and boxelder) but they are not created equally. Sugar and black maple sap has higher sugar concentrations, (2-3%), than silver maple (1.5-1.75%), and box elder (1%). Why does the type of maple species matter? The"Rule of 86" in sugar making states that at 1% sugar concentration you would needto collect and reduce, on average, 86 gallons of raw sap to make one gallon of finished syrup. At 2% sugar concentration you would only need to boil off 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. Unless you want to spend days -instead of hours boiling the sap down into syrup, you should always aim to tap the sweetest trees.
Iowa State University
Forestry Extension
Prepared By: Jesse A. Randall
February 2010
Publication F-337A

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