From the Forest

Catskill Forest Association's Education Forester - Ryan Trapani - maple sugaring by hand in Ulster County. It was some year! The best season in 7 years. The sap was running heavy, and the sugar contents reached extremely high levels - averaging 2.5%. Normal is 2.0% and equates to 42 gallons of sap that need to be boiled down to make 1 gallon of maple syrup. At 2.5%, the ratio is 33 to 1. Sometimes the sap would even freeze. After discarding the ice, the sugar was left behind leaving sugar contents as high as 3.5% or 23.5 to 1.

Normally one maple tap will provide approximately 1 quart of maple syrup throughout the entire season of collection. With the amount of sap collected and the above average sugar contents, these taps were providing almost 1/2 gallon of maple syrup throughout the season. Amazing. However, it must be noted that the trees tapped were "yard maples" or ones that had extremely large crowns that captured the sun's energy throughout the summer and translate to higher sugar contents as opposed to trees growing in crowded, forested conditions. It pays to thin your sugarbush!

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From the Forest

Ryan Trapani

"From the Forest" - created by Catskill Forest Association - aims to connect individuals to their woodlands by learning from those who make their living From the Forest. We will cover a wide variety of forest-related topics: woodland wildlife; timber…


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"From the Forest" - created by Catskill Forest Association - aims to connect individuals to their woodlands by learning from those who make their living From the Forest. We will cover a wide variety of forest-related topics: woodland wildlife; timber management; maple sugaring; forest industry; forest edibles; hunting; fishing; forest politics; forest health; silviculture; & more. Really anything that's From the Forest.

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