Learn how to make syrup from tree sap Feb. 11 and Feb. 28 in the Kansas City area

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – Trees can provide a winter sweetener for those with a few tools, a cook stove, and patience. Tree sap starts flowing in the warmer days of late winter and can be tapped for syrup making, and maples are not the only tree that can be tapped. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer three workshops on syrup making during February in Kansas City and Blue Springs.

  • Sap to Syrup classes will be offered from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 12:30 to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11, at the Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center in Kansas City. The classes will cover tree selection, collection, and how to process sap into syrup. Participants ages 8 and older are welcome. Some portions of the class are outdoor so dress for the weather conditions. Registration is required, to register for the morning class, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4fX. To register for the afternoon class, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4fB.
  • A Maple Sugaring class will be offered from 1:30 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs. This class will teach participants how to tap trees, collect sap, and boil the liquid down into syrup. All ages are welcome. Parts of the class will be held outdoors. Registration is required. To register, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4f2.

Making syrup is fairly simple, but it does require some patience and persistence. Sap is collected by drilling a small hole into the tree and inserting a tap that lets sap drip into a collection bucket. Drip is a key word regarding patience. Sap can run but generally collection is done drop by drop. Buckets must be emptied if they do fill up. It takes 10 gallons of maple sap to make one quart of maple syrup.

Maple sugaring is the most common term for the process because sugar maple trees are tapped most often. Their sap has a higher sugar content than other trees, and besides a good flavor, they require less liquid to make sweet syrup. However, other trees can be used. Walnut syrup, for instance, has a pleasant flavor.

MDC’s classes will teach participants what equipment they need and what cooking processes to use to make tree syrup. Taste tests may also be available. COVID-19 precautions will be observed at all sessions.

For more information about maple sugaring in Missouri, visit https://short.mdc.mo.gov/4N4.