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Sugaring non-maple hardwoods

 
Posts: 69
Location: Ozark Border
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Hey folks,

My family property in the eastern Ozarks was one of those wrecked by the tornadoes a month or so ago- no major structural damage, but lots of shattered trees- blasted and broken 15-20 feet off the ground.

The site is 40 acres, half upland, half bottomland, and it's been high-graded in the past.  Upland is dominated by shingle oak and bitternut hickory, bottomland canopy has some nice black walnut and cherry, and a lot of sycamore and river birch.   I'd like to use some of these "trash trees" as shelter trees while establishing more marketable hardwood species in the understory.  

I was reading online about folks in other parts of the country tapping birch and sycamore for syrup.  Has anyone tried it in the Ozarks?  I've read sap production takes off in spring when daytime temperatures are above freezing but nighttime temperatures are still below freezing.  I was figuring late February-early March, but I'm interested in hearing from anyone who's tried it.

 
pollinator
Posts: 1866
Location: Canadian Prairies - Zone 3b
473
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I can't speak to your location, but tapping white birch for syrup has been done since forever.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1872
Location: RRV of da Nort
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Oddly enough, another thread has been bumped during the day entitled "how did you find out about Permies.com?".  It's odd because tapping box elder trees was the first question I posed on the forum several years ago.   We had some success with the idea, but the sugar concentration in box elder is, on average, about half of what is found in sugar maple.  The volumes needed to go from raw sap to desired product was too much for our interests at the time.  Still think it could be made into a soda, something like cream soda with sap overtones.  Good luck!
 
Posts: 85
Location: Northern BC Zone 3
41
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We tap birch trees and it works pretty well.  The sugar in birch is not very concentrated so it takes 100 L of sap to make one liter of syrup.  I'm a long ways from your location but I would think the only difference would be what month you tap in.  Your on the right track with when to start tapping but it takes some practice to know when exactly to start. I've found its best to watch and learn what other changes are happening in the forest a sign to start tapping.  In my case I know that about two weeks after the pussy willow bud it is time for a test tap to see if things are flowing.  Of course every year is a little different depending on the weather.
 
gardener
Posts: 931
Location: the mountains of western nc
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of the trees you mention, black walnut can also be tapped.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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