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Maple Sugaring

Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ • 908 722-1200 Ext. 5002

Maple Sugaring
Maple Sugaring
MaSampling the Maple Syrup
sugar bush  

The sugar bush is generally a climax growth of both maple and other varieties of trees. In some parts of the country, maples and beech grow together. The maple grows with a shallow root system, while the beech has a deep root system. Thus, they leave room for each other underground. The beech protects the maple from high winds with its above ground bulk and stability from the deep roots. Although the beech does not produce fine flavored syrup, it is of great importance in and to the sugar bush.

Maple trees grow best in moderately cold, moist climates. The sap of the hard maples (sugar and black) generally yields more sugar than the soft maples (red and silver).

The size of a sugar bush is expressed by the number of tap holes rather than by the number of trees tapped. A given sugar bush may range from 200 to 6000 tap holes.

Other plant saps contain sugar too. Birch syrup is being produced in Finland and Alaska. But added materials in the sap of the maple tree gives the peculiar flavor we like in our maple syrup and candy.

Visit the following websites for information on maple trees:

Floridata at

Massachusetts Maple Producers Association at

Please click on the following links for more information on maple sugaring:

Maple Sugaring Home
Boiling Down

Gathering The Sap
History of Maple Sugaring
Is It Syrup Yet?
Maple Activities
Maple Recipes
Sugar Bush
Word Search (pdf file)
Word Search Answer Key (pdf file)
Multiple Choice Questions

E-mail the EEC any questions or comments.