It’s sugary, sticky and delicious on warm pancakes or waffles, but there’s a lot more to maple syrup than meets the eye – or taste buds. Read on to discover sweet facts about the delectable treat and its journey from tree to tabletop.

How maple syrup is made

  • Maple syrup is harvested during the early spring when temperatures at night are still below freezing but daytime temperatures can reach 40 degrees.
  • Maple trees are ready to be tapped when they are 40 years old, or when they grow to 14 inches in diameter.
  • Tapping maples trees to extract the sap does not hurt the trees – they can be tapped for generations.
  • Sap can be collected in buckets hanging from the spouts or, increasingly, with plastic tubing and vacuum pumps.
  • Sap consists primarily of water and is only slightly sweet when first harvested from the tree.
  • Sap is boiled to remove water, which results in the amber color of familiar syrup.
  • The sap turns into syrup at 219 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • One gallon of syrup requires 50 gallons of sap.
  • About half a gallon of syrup is produced each season from the sap of a single tree.
  • Pure maple syrup is boiled sap that has no added sugar.
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