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Thread: Tapping trees other than maples

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default Tapping trees other than maples

    I was wondering if anyone on this site had tried tapping and boiling the sap of anything other than maples. I did boxelder and some silver maples on some land we have this year. I don't have any black or sugar maples. It just seems like it would be interesting to see what it would be like to experiment with other trees. I know it can be done with birch. I have river birch, shagbark hickory, sycamore, cottonwood, black walnut on our property and would like to here from anyone on their results from tapping these trees. What does the syrup taste like etc.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brillion, Wisconsin
    Posts
    320

    Default Maple is best

    Most trees actually don't have sap runs like maples do. Boxelder works because it is in the maple family. Like maples they need a freeze to make the pressure for the sap to come out. Birch trees make pressure from the roots that makes the sap run. Most other trees don't have sap that comes pouring out if you try to tap them.
    There is some kind of syrup made from hickory but it is made from the bark. If you check on the Internet you will be able to read about this information.
    First year 2009
    18 taps on 12 trees
    boiled in 3 gal. pot on electric stove in garage
    2010
    111 taps on 93 trees
    boiling in 200 gal. stainless tank, wood fire
    3 sided sugar shack

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Quesnel, British Columbia
    Posts
    254

    Default Tapping Birch trees

    There are 12 commercial birch tappers in Canada. I think a similar amount in Alaska.
    We have produced a Birch syrup production manual which we have on the classified ads part on this website.
    It's much different than making maple syrup but a nice syrup itself and has other uses as compared to a pancake syrup. More in cooking applications, we put it on meats & fish as a glaze or over ice cream.
    You're looking at 100 to 120 to 1 for sap to syrup ratios and it is also a different kind of sugar, primarilay fructose & glucose which has a lower boiling temp that he sucrose in maple.

    Also check out the Canadian Birch Syrup producers on Facebook

    Ted T
    BC, Canada
    Kubota 3400 4x4 Tractor
    planning for 250 Birch Trees
    D & G 2x6 Drop Flue Evaporator
    www.moosemeadowsfarm.ca
    Follow Moose Meadows Farm or Canadian Birch Syrup Producers on Facebook

  4. #4
    mklarenbeek Guest

    Default Tapping different species

    upmep - After playing with maple for a couple of years and then reading about the birch I had the same question. My internet research revealed Black Walnut syrup and poplar syrup. Put the following in an internet search for more info on the black walnut.

    Making syrup from black walnut sap. Transactions of the Kansas Academy of Science Fall , 2006

    I tapped one this year just to test the sap and mine came at 1.5% but this spring has been weird so I'm not sure if I could get higher. My yellow birch this year were reading at 0 and I didn't get around to testing a poplar until after bud break. It didn't run.

    As for the syrups made from bark - with the 200 year old native American recipe that utilizes a formula blend of sugars that looks suspiciously like table sugar - I have my doubts. I've collected some bark and will play with it after I get my greenhouse caught up but since the shagbark and walnut are from the same family and I know the walnut can be tapped I think it more likely that the bark was cooked in sap. Unfortunately I don't have any frozen sap to play with so will try the sugar and maybe some honey.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    77

    Default

    I don't think I would try cottonwood. Ever smell that wood? The ones around here stink, and I wouldn't want to put that in my mouth. Mainly the smell comes from these trees growing in wet conditions with stagnant water being sucked up through the root system. So i have been told. Not sure if it is true, I have never researched it. Although it would make sense.

  6. #6
    mklarenbeek Guest

    Default

    wanting to get into it - I personally think coffee smells revolting but I'm not going to argue with its popularity. And there are lots of folks who can't abide the smell of any of the braccias and just as many who find them tasty.

    Ours is a small farm that sells a variety of weird stuff - www.gaeasgate.ca - Any potential crop is going to be explored. As far as the trembling aspen goes it will not be explored this year. As I mentioned they've already budded out. But if you want to smirk at a truly weird syrup idea there is always honeylocust pod syrup.

    http://www.pfaf.org/database/plants....ia+triacanthos

    and quite a few others

    http://www.pfaf.org/database/search_use.php?K[]=sweetener

    I'm planning on trying the honeylocust because I have a dozen or so lining my driveway. Only problem is that when we bought the farm 5 years back one of the first things we did was prune the trees up so the kids wouldn't have to dodge the lower branches on their way to the bus. Now I have to figure out how to harvest all of those pods before the seeds get over developed. I'm thinking of the back of a wagon. It would have been too much to hope for that the syrup could be made with the mature fallen pods.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Ayer's Cliff Quebec
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    If it made syrup I would try it.I don't have a lot of different trees here to work with. I have a few paper birch lots of yellows and I think I found a sweet birch finally. They are hard to find here. I pick almost every kind of berry plus some nobodys ever heard of or used also.
    maybe 50 taps for 2011
    Finally ready to boil when I get enough sap
    I just might be crazy.( make that I know I am)
    Trees all tapped except the ones with 5 feet of snow.
    Enough rabbits to keep Elmer busy..

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    iowa
    Posts
    30

    Default

    All of this sounds interesting. I saw the video of the guy in Indiana who was making syrup out of the hickory bark, but he was adding sugar. We went to a county conservation board demonstration and they said you could make syrup from the black walnut but I have yet to find anyone to get it to work yet. Does the birch syrup have to be boiled differently or just longer since it doesn't have the sugar content? If the walnut had 1.5% sugar that's probably as good as my box elders. I just thought it would be interesting to try some of these other trees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Quesnel, British Columbia
    Posts
    254

    Default Making birch syrup

    The main thing with making birch syrup is due to the lower sugar content one needs to heat it for longer time periods. ( sugar contents vary from 80 to 1 to 140 to 1 depending on location. It is a different kind of sugar as well ( fructose & glucose) with lower boiling temps so it shouldn't be heated over 100 deg C. Otherwise it will scrch & make tar which is great if you're making a canoe but not a food product.
    Using an Reverse Osomois works well as whenever you can remove water without heating results in a lighter coloured syrup. A special membrane is necessary for the RO.
    We do sell a manual on the process.The only one in Print. Check out the classified ads on this website. ( Birch Syrup Production Manual)
    Ted T
    BC, Canada
    Kubota 3400 4x4 Tractor
    planning for 250 Birch Trees
    D & G 2x6 Drop Flue Evaporator
    www.moosemeadowsfarm.ca
    Follow Moose Meadows Farm or Canadian Birch Syrup Producers on Facebook

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Brillion, Wisconsin
    Posts
    320

    Default Ironwood sap?

    Does anyone know if ironwood sap would make syrup? I was in the sugar bush making wood for next year and noticed the sapsuckers had tapped some of the ironwood trees and sap was running. I went back with my refractometer and it was tough to get a good sample but it looked like maybe 2% reading. I haven't tried to Google it yet. Just thought I would check on here first.
    Last edited by TF Maple; 04-14-2010 at 08:24 AM. Reason: Spelling correction
    First year 2009
    18 taps on 12 trees
    boiled in 3 gal. pot on electric stove in garage
    2010
    111 taps on 93 trees
    boiling in 200 gal. stainless tank, wood fire
    3 sided sugar shack

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