- Maple syrup production is one of America’s oldest crops.
- The tradition of producing maple syrup began with Native Americans.
- It takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup.
- It takes 40 to 50 years for a sugar maple tree to be big enough to tap.
- Quebec produces two-thirds of the world’s syrup.
- If stored properly, a sealed container of maple syrup can last for several years.
BEFORE YOU GO
- Visit the PBS LearningMedia website for some intriguing discussion questions on maple syrup and maple sugaring.
- Begin a conversation about the traditions and customs of American Indians.
- Review the vocabulary of maple sugaring.
- Call ahead about to schedule an in-season trip for your class, scout, or homeschool group.
- Sap (n): the watery fluid that circulates through a plant and contains sugar and minerals.
- Cambium (n): the green, living part of a tree.
- Sapwood (n): the outer, new layer of wood found between the cambium and the heartwood; sap runs into it.
- Bark (n): the tough, protective outer sheath of the trunk, branches and twigs of a tree or woody shrub.
- Xylem (n): the tissue in plants that conducts water and nutrients upward from the root; the tissue that helps to form the woody element in the stem
- Photosynthesis (n): the process by which green plants and other organisms use light to synthesize foods from carbon dioxide and water.
- Tap (v): to drill into a sugar maple tree to draw off some of the sap.
- Field Trip lesson connections provide a range of opportunities for learning how to locate a sugar maple tree during maple sugaring season without its characteristic leaves, the effects of changing seasons on the plant life, and how maple syrup is made.
- Discover the impact of temperatures (lows and highs) on the growth of living things.
- Learn about photosynthesis, the process that occurs in green plants when chlorophyll, activated by sunlight, converts carbon dioxide and water into sugar and oxygen.
- Explore how sugar is not only a plant’s food but is also produced through photosynthesis.
- Learn how sap is distilled into syrup through the chemistry of the boiling process.
- Learn about the layers of a tree (bark, cambium, ect…) and the functions of the layers.
- Identify winter trees using branches, buds and bark.
- Learn about the importance of maple syrup to Native American cultures.