"The process of making maple syrup is an age-old tradition of the North American Indians, who used it both as a food and as a medicine. They would make incisions into trees with their tomohawks and use birch barks to collect the sap. The sap would be condensed into syrup by evaporating the excess water using one of two methods: plunging hot stones into the sap or the nightly freezing of the sap, following by the morning removal of the frozen water layer. "
tel jetson wrote:I'm told folks on Vancouver Island have been using A. macrophyllum sap to make syrup for the last fifteen years or so. clearly hasn't been done on a large scale yet as I've yet to see big leaf syrup for sale any place, but I'm told it compares well to sugar maple.
large big leaf maples are great for imparting a very nice greenish hue to afternoon sunlight filtering through them. good for tree houses, too.
I've got a decades long project started growing a covered walkway out of vine maples (A. circinatum).
flowers are good early season pollen source for critters that like that sort of thing.
I like Douglas maples (A. glabrum var. douglasii), though I don't know much about them. rare in my area, so it's a treat to see them.
maple wood is used for musical instruments. also bowling pins, butcher blocks and other things that need to be hard. sometimes gets some weird figures, which woodworkers like: birdseye, etc. it also gets spalted by fungus, which woodworkers also like.
Dale Hodgins wrote:
Gary Backlund is a guy on Vancouver island who has written a book about sugaring the broad leaf maple. When I first moved here 19 years ago, Gary invited us to his annual party where we met lots of people. His wife and my ex are now best friends. Gary has a wealth of knowledge and has also written a few kayaking books.
Dale Hodgins wrote:
Another snippet from Wikipedia --- The Algonquians recognized maple sap as a source of energy and nutrition. At the beginning of the spring thaw, they used stone tools to make V-shaped incisions in tree trunks; they then inserted reeds or concave pieces of bark to run the sap into buckets, which were often made from birch bark. The maple sap was concentrated either by dropping hot cooking stones into the buckets or by leaving them exposed to the cold temperatures overnight and disposing of the layer of ice that formed on top. Production of maple syrup is one of only a few agricultural processes in North America that is not a European colonial import.
Claire Skerry wrote:
Mainly I wanted to ask if anyone has had any luck in bleeding a maple down southish? I'd rather not stab a tree if there isn't a chance at all for it to be worthwhile. Though maybe if it's down in a cool glen that might work? Just a thought.
what's the book?
John Polk wrote:And, here's a 5 minute video of Gary & his operation: