Before the winter season begins, maple trees store starch in their trunks and in their roots. This starch rises in the spring and turns into a sugary sap. This sap can then be extracted by pounding small holes into a tree through a process called maple syrup tapping. By heating the sap, it can evaporate the water and leave a syrup that we all love to pour over our pancakes.
Once there is a pattern of warm weather in the spring, maple syrup producers are able to extract the syrup. In order for sap to flow through the tree, the weather needs to be in the 30’s or the 40’s.
There are people all over the state of Wisconsin who tap maple trees in order to extract sap. Maple syrup production can be a very lucrative business when producers have a good year. According to the National Agriculture Statistics Service, the badger state is ranked fourth among maple syrup producing states.
Kathy Jo, one of our agents here at Community Insurance & Associates, provided a little insight on the world of maple syrup tapping. Her fiancé, and his family, have been tapping maple syrup tree’s for years. Unfortunately, they were unable to get into the woods this year to tap the tree’s because of a large amount of mud. Kathy Jo mentioned that the maple syrup process is cool but very slow. She added, “you pretty much have to camp out while you are cooking it.”
In the end, the slow process is always worthwhile. The delicious aroma of maple syrup cooking is phenomenal. Nothing beats fresh locally-produced maple syrup to smother over buttermilk pancakes.