When you're done collecting the Maple sap, just start eating the tree!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

To All:

From "Edible Wild Plants of Eastern North America" by Fernald & Kinsey (pp. 269-270):

"...the sap-wood or inner bark (of the Maples) has been used by various Indian tribes as a source of bread, the dried bark being pounded in a mortar and sifted before cooking; and the Calmucks, we are told, remove the wings and then boil the large seeds of the maples, afterward dressing them with butter and milk as a food."

From "Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants" by Bradford Angier (p. 135):

"The inner bark of the Maple is one of the more appetizing sap layers and is eaten in times of need, either raw or cooked."

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 03, 1999


I have just bought a house. It has a neat Maple Tree in the back yard. It is not real huge but as high as my second story house. Lots of leaves I racked this fall. But how do I know it is save to eat the sap? Are all Maple Trees safe to draw the sap from?

-- Gay Boling (wilber@montanasky.net), December 03, 1999.


I have not personally tapped maples, but according to the best book I have seen on the subject, "Backyard Sugarin'" by Rink Mann, The Countryman Press, Woodstock, VT, (p, 15):

"There are four different kinds of maple trees native to the northeastern U.S., all of which produce spring sap flows, can be tapped and will produce maple syrup...the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum); the Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), the Red Maple (Acer rubrum), and the Ash Leafed Maple (Acer negundo), more popularly known as the Box Elder."

Personally, I have never heard of any maple sap that is bad for you, but I'm sure there are others tuning in who know more about this subject than I do; perhaps they can chip in. In the meantime, try to get that book.

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 03, 1999.

Euell Gibbons says all can be tapped.

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), December 03, 1999.

I've made maple syrup from box elder sap. It was indistinguishable from syrup made from sugar maples. From what I understand, you can use the sap from any maple.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), December 04, 1999.

Thanks Eve and Linda et al. My backyard is in Western Montana and a lot of these Maple trees around. It sounds like there is a possiblity I can use the sap. I will check with the library and try to identify the tree. It is a red leaf Maple. I don't know if there is more than one red leaf Maple.

-- Gay Boling (wilber@montanasky.net), December 04, 1999.

think I have heard they are also an emergency water source... as the sap is VERY watery and has to be boiled down forever to get syrup. An odd source for sure... but just tuck it away in case you ever need it.

-- Linda (lwmb@psln.com), December 04, 1999.


Great angle. Thanks for pointing it out.

-- eve (123@4567.com), December 04, 1999.

We made maple syrup for years. They are a good source for potable water during the spring season. (Also significant source in the fall, I'm told, but we never made syrup that time of year.)

The sap is roughly 98% water, the sugar content can get higher than 2% but usually isn't in these parts and can even be lower than 1% at times - meaning you'd have to boil 100 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. Whether sugar content is a "high" 2%+ or a "low" of under 1%, it is good to drink straight. Any maple tree produces potable sap. There are other trees that do too, though I don't know which ones. A medium tree can produce gallons of sap per day during the high point of the season w/o harming the tree - assuming you've tapped it properly.

However, depending on the weather, there are days even within the season where the tree produces no sap at all. Don't consider your water concerns "covered" simply because you have maple trees.

-- Gus (y2kk@usa.net), December 04, 1999.

GB: if it's maple, it's good to go. Don't sweat the variety, just use it.

Regarding sap flow -- it starts in late winter/early spring, when you have cold nights and warm days. The colder the night and the warmer the day, the better the sap will rise.

When the trees start budding, you're done collecting sap for the year.

-- Ron Schwarz (rs@clubvb.com.delete.this), December 04, 1999.

Consider boiling it using a distiller (if possible). Boil it down to the sugar level (if TSHTF and it's TEOTWAWKI you've got both water and a barter item).

-- james (jpeet@u.washington.edu), December 04, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ