Maple Syrup at the Arboretum
Drippin' with Fun!
When the sap starts running, you know the earth is about to bloom again. Nothing signifies the transition from winter to spring more dramatically than the maple syruping season, says Richard Devries, maple syruping guru (and gardener) at the Arboretum. As the days get longer and the sun shines brighter, Arboretum visitors will begin to notice sap lines through the forest and blue bags hanging from more than 250 total tapped sugar maple trees.
In early spring, when the temparature drops to 20 degrees at night and mid-day brings highs in the 40s, the sap begins bursting forth from the awakening maple trees. Sugar maple trees are the preferred species of tree to tap because of the high percentage of sugar in the sap.
The process has been modified through the years and, today, in addition to using traditional methods, the Arboretum has introduce a vacuum system, which allows increased sap production.
Keep up with the goings-on of the maple syruping season through our Nature Notes blog.
Sugarbush Pancake Brunch
Saturday, March 23, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
MacMillan Auditorium, Visitor Center
Enjoy a delicious brunch featuring pancakes and Arboretum maple syrup. Also includes pecans, sausage links, juice, coffee, milk. Tickets: $9 for Arboretum members ages 8 and older, $11.50 for non-members ages 8 and older, $6 for ages 4-7 and free for ages 3 and under. Purchase tickets at the Oswald Visitor Center during the event. Gate admission is included in the ticket price.
Maple Syrup Tours: Sat., March 23, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
SugarHouse Open Houses: Sat., March 16 & March 30, noon - 4 p.m.
Free, drop-in demonstrations led by staff and volunteers will show what's involved in making rich, delicious syrup. Visitors may try tree-tapping, watch sap cooking down to syrup, make their own spiles and see the four systems used at the Arboretum to collect to sap from the maple woods.
Gift Store. Arboretum maple syrup will be for sale, and for those who want to try out tapping and making their own syrup, maple syruping supplies and tree tapping equipment are available in store or at the Online Gift Store.
For Families & Kids. Maple Syrup Madness at the Learning Center, Saturdays & Sundays in March, noon-4 p.m., free with admission. Celebrate the arrival of spring with the sweet sap of sugar maples. Can you tell the difference between real and artificial maple syrup? Take a maple taste test challenge. Learn how to recognize a maple tree from a twig, even before the tree leafs out. Make a maple keepsake to take home. Grab a map and follow the path from sap to syrup on self guided hike.