How much sap does it take to make a gallon of syrup?

It takes on average 43 gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.


As spring approaches in New England the nights remain cold while the days get longer and warmer. The colder weather at night traps sap in the form of ice crystals in the sugar maple tree. The warmer weather during the day thaws the sap and allows it to “run.” Here at Rogers Maple Syrup we have over 4,000 taps ready and waiting to pull the sap back to our sugar house to be boiled. When the water is boiled off into steam, what is left is a sweet syrup that we call liquid gold.

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How it’s made

What is sap?

Think of sap as sugar water. It is the food that the tree uses to grow.

Where does sap come from?

A maple tree is a deciduous hardwood tree. Deciduous means that the tree sheds it leaves at the end of the growing season (every fall) and grows them back every spring. The tree does this to preserve food for itself for the cold winter months. This food is the tree’s sap.

At Rogers Maple Syrup we use a vacuum system to help bring sap into the sugar house.

Why use a maple tree?

The maple tree, like other hardwoods, is made up of many little fibers and vessels. What is stored in these fibers and vessels is what make the maple tree special. There is a higher concentration of carbon dioxide in the fibers of the maple tree than other hardwoods. The carbon dioxide takes up space in the fibers when the sap is liquid. As the weather gets colder at night ice crystals form pushing the carbon dioxide aside and allowing more space for liquid. The change in pressure causes the tree to draw water into its roots to take up the newly created space. When the weather warms up during the day the ice crystals melt and the carbon dioxide pushes the liquid back out of its space. This push, coupled with gravity, allows sap to flow down the tree toward the roots and out the tap.

What is a tap?

The tap is a small hole drilled in the tree where sap leaks out during the warmer days of early spring.

Does it hurt the tree?

Creating a tap in the tree does cause a wound that will close over and heal once the spout is removed. Here at Rogers Maple Syrup we remove the spouts at the end of every season and create new taps the following season in rotation around the tree.

At Rogers Maple Syrup we utilize plastic spouts and tubing to carry sap from most of our trees right to the sugar house.


Heiligmann et al. North American Maple Producers Manual Second Edition. The Ohio State University, 2006.