“Sweet Trees” You Can Tap
The best time to tap trees is in early spring before they bud and leaf out, so approximately mid February to mid March, depending on your climate zone.
You’re probably pretty familiar with tapping sugar maples for syrup (see how at an earlier post.1)https://gardensall.com/tap-your-own-pure-maple-syrup/ But did you know you can also tap trees like boxelder and walnut more for water and syrup?
Birch is another “sweet tree”, and there are at least 5 different varieties of birch you can tap, which you may enjoy also reading more about in this article on tapping Birch.2)https://gardensall.com/elixir-of-birch/
9 Trees You Can Tap for Syrup
1. Boxelder trees will produce sap, but it will be significantly less sweet compared to the sugar maple and yields about half as much.
2. White Walnut (Butternut) trees are most comparable to the sugar maple as far as sugar content and yield is concerned.
3. Black Walnut is a good sturdy midwestern tree. It is used mainly for its timber resource, but will produce a sap from fall to spring.
4. English Walnut trees are the famous nut bearing trees. They grow almost solely in California. Sap production can be abundant, especially if the climate during winter and spring is cold.
5. Heartnut trees produce a sweet sap with less yield compared to the sugar maple.
6. Sycamore is a butterscotch lovers dream. That is, the sap from a sycamore tree tastes of butterscotch, so they say.
7. Ironwood trees produce their sap in the late spring months. The volume isn’t high or as sweet as the sugar maple, but it’s there.
8. Black Birch is found mostly in the East and lends it self best to birch beer (similar to root beer), but does produce a sap for syrup making.
9. River Birch trees, as messy as they can be in your yard, produce an abundant amount of sap.
Tapping Birch Water Naturally
We have a lot of birch around us and love the idea of a natural drip from pruned twigs and small branches of birch for the least harm to the tree, while still enjoying some of the refreshing benefits of the birch water.
Here’s what we found at the “tywkiwdbi” blog on birch water.3)http://tywkiwdbi.blogspot.com/2011/04/adventure-with-birch-water-birch-sap.html
We tried tapping our own birch trees and they gave us clear refreshing water. However, it was definitely water and nothing remotely like syrup. While the liquid from maples is also more watery than what we know and love as the maple syrup that it’s cooked down to be, birch is definitely lighter fresher and more like water than a sappy syrup.
Birch water is currently one of the most popular “sweet waters”.
So these would be more for the “sweet water” type beverages rather than turning into something resembling syrup.
Speaking of sweet water versus syrup, if you’re interested in alternative businesses that homesteaders can get into, you may be interested in this article on how the sweet tree water business is expected to explode into a billion dollar industry by 2025.
If you’re interested in more information you might check out how to tap maple trees, as well as some of the benefits of tree water and how we tapped our birch trees.
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