Learn syrup making from tree sap with free MDC virtual program Feb. 20 and in-person on Feb. 24

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The warmer days of February prompt moisture, or sap, to begin moving in trees. Learn how to turn sap into syrup with an online class Feb. 20 or an in-person class offered Feb. 24 by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) in Blue Springs.

  • A virtual Sap to Syrup class will be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20. This online course will cover tree selection, equipment, and cooking processes needed to collect sap and boil it into delicious syrup. The class is open to participants ages 10 and older. Registration is required. To register, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/473.
  • MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center in Blue Springs will offer a Maple Sugaring and Tree Tapping class from syrup making class from 1:30 to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24. Staff will demonstrate the equipment and techniques needed to turn tree sap into syrup. This class is open to all ages. Registration is required. To register, visit http://short.mdc.mo.gov/47U.

The syrup making season starts when the sap starts running in late winter. When temperatures rise above freezing, positive pressure is created in the tree that pushes sap out of any openings, such as a hole drilled for a tap. A negative pressure is created when temperatures drop below freezing that prompts the tree to draw in more moisture from the roots.

Hard maple trees are a favored tree because the sugar content in the sap is higher than in most other Missouri native tree species. Thus, it takes less sap collected to boil down to syrup. However, other trees can also be tapped. Walnut tree sap, for example, makes a very tasty syrup. But it takes several gallons of sap from any tree species to make a bottle of syrup. Knowing some key steps in collecting and storing sap as well as the cooking process is important.

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