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Tapping Trees for Syrup

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From: Dana Adams
City:
Licking, MO
As a learning tool (not for production), could a walnut tree or hickory tree be 'tapped' and the sap boiled down for syrup? I understand that maples varietes can be, but are there any others? And the hickory, can you tap the tree as opposed to boiling down the bark as with a shagbark hickory?

 
Extension Message
From: Jay Hayek
Extension Specialist, Forestry
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
jhayek@illinois.edu
Hi Dana,

Yes, "other" trees can be tapped for their sap to produce syrup: soft maples (silver and red), walnut, birch, hickory, and even elm.

The main point to consider is sap sugar content and taste. Generally, sugar maple sap has higher sugar content compared to sap produced by other species. Granted, sugar content among a population of sugar maple trees may be highly variable.

 
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