From sap to syrup a spring treat is being made

With spring on the way, maple syrup production is ramping up across Northern Michigan.

As we enter the first full week of March with the days getting longer and the temperatures a little bit warmer, one of spring's great rituals is already underway across parts of Michigan, maple syrup making.

We checked and found out that several Northern Michigan syrup makers have already started making maple syrup. One viewer, Paul told us they starting tapping trees on February 14th at Northport.

Maple syrup is most commonly made from the sap of the sugar maple tree which starts running the most optimal in March with clear cold nights and warmer sunny days in the afternoon. Although hard to believe, only one percent of Michigan's maple trees are actually utilized in syrup production. Trees are tapped with buckets to collect the sap which is then boiled off and turns from sap into syrup when the temperature reaches 219F, or 7F above the boiling point of water. It will take over 40 gallons of sap to boil down to one gallon of syrup. A typical sugar maple tree that is tapped will be between 40-100 years old and greater than 10 inches in diameter. A typical tap-hole will in a given spring collects about 10 gallons of sap.

Michigan averages 90,000 gallons of syrup production each year which ranks 5th in the U.S. following Maine, New York, Wisconsin, and the leading producer of maple syrup in the United States which is Vermont. That state produces a half million gallons of syrup annually.

So, where is your favorite place to buy maple syrup or make it? Do you have a favorite kind? Do you know where they are tapping the trees and making it? Share your thoughts.