16 March 2010

This spring I am attempting to make maple syrup from a sugar maple tree. I don't know much about it but I have a big maple tree in my backyard. Mrs. Shurtleff does it and she has promised to teach me. Trees spend the entire spring and summer making sugars through photosynthesis in the chloroplasts of their leaves. In the winter, the tree stores all of that sugar in the roots. In early spring, the Xylem tissue transports the sugar water (sap) BACK to the apical meristem of the branch tips to stimulate the buds and create the new year's growth. Pretty cool! People use the sugar maple (Acer saccharum) because it has the highest concentration of sugars, However, most maple species work.

If you drill a hole about an inch into the bark, it creates a leak because there is a good amount of pressure behind the bark. The sap goes to the area of least resistance, which means it drains out into my hose and into my glass carboy. When I fill it up, Mrs. Shurtleff and her husband will show me how to boil off the water so I'm left with a syrup that has a high concentration of sugar. So... stayed tuned for part two of this crazy experiment.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

when is our pancake breakfast?