Foraging Pittsburgh

Wild Food Walks, Workshops, & Guided Nature Hikes

The Sugar In Maple Syrup Can Be 3-5 Years Old

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Tap a maple tree, and the liquid tastes slightly sweet.  Did you know, however, that the sugars (mainly sucrose) in this sap can be 3-5 years old?

Interesting new research suggests that sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum) store atmospheric carbon over several growing seasons… essentially building reserves to be drawn upon in times of stress, drought, or defoliation by insects.  Humans formerly thought that all sugars were stored from the previous year’s growing season.  This research suggests otherwise (1).

When the sap begins to flow in late winter/early spring, the maple tree draws upon several years of carbon storage to build its sugars. At least that’s how the new theory goes.

Relevant to you?  Who knows!  Interesting, though.

Author: Adam

Wild foodist

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