The production of maple syrup
Did you know that a sugar bush is an actual ecosystem? Its trees and plants absorb light and water in a process called photosynthesis and release the oxygen that the whole world and everything living in it need.
The sun makes the sugar maples’ roots grow, while rain waters the flowers, plants, and trees of the maple forest. Animals, birds and insects feed on these plants and, in turn, some of them are food for other animals, birds and insects. It's the circle of life…
In the springtime, the warm sun and its bright light wakens the sugar maple tree. This starts changing the starch in its roots into a sugar that mixes with the water absorbed by the roots. That sweetened water then travels up to the top. That’s what we call “maple sap”.
Warm during the day, Cold at night
The rise of maple sap to the top of the tree is known as “sap flow”. This phenomenon can only happen if there are alternating nights of cold temperatures (between -7 and -4 degrees Celsius) and warm days above the freezing point (0 to 7 degrees Celsius). Maple sap contains 46 molecules vital to the life of the tree.
A looooog trip
In total, the sap will circulate through the tree for about six to eight weeks from early March, providing all the energy it needs to grow. Some of that sap is collected by the maple producer through the taps inserted into it. This spring harvest takes no more than about 5% of the sugar maple’s reserves; it’ll still have all that it needs to stay healthy.
The maple sap collected by the buckets or tubing system goes to the sugar shack. It goes into an evaporator there to be heated for the transformation of many elements, the minerals, amino acids, and vitamins in the sap, into a sweet, smooth liquid: maple syrup!
It takes an average of 40 litres of maple sap to make one litre of maple syrup.