Did you know that a sugar maple tree has to reach the age of about 40 before it’s able to produce enough sap to make maple syrup? It all starts beneath the ground, with a tiny molecule of energy hidden in the tree’s roots, called starch. It’s the beginning of a fascinating process!
In the springtime, the warm sun and its bright light wakens the sugar maple tree. This starts changing the starch in its roots into a sugar that mixes with the water absorbed by the roots. That sweetened water then travels up to the top. That’s what we call “maple sap”.
Warm during the day, Cold at night
The rise of to the top of the tree is known as “sap flow”. This phenomenon can only happen if there are alternating nights of cold temperatures (between -7 and -4 degrees Celsius) and warm days above the freezing point (0 to 7 degrees Celsius).
A looooog trip
In total, the sap will circulate through the tree for about six to eight weeks from early March, providing all the energy it needs to grow. Some of that sap is collected by the maple producer through the taps inserted into it. But don’t worry! This spring harvest takes no more than about 5% of the sugar maple’s reserves; it’ll still have all that it needs to stay healthy.
collected by the buckets or tubing system goes to the sugar shack. It goes into an evaporator there to be heated for the transformation of many elements — the minerals, amino acids, and vitamins in the sap — into a sweet, smooth liquid: maple syrup!