MDC offers free maple sugaring workshops on Feb. 18

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Kansas City
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Kansas City, Mo. – The sugar maple earns its name in late winter. Trees can be tapped for sap, with which a bit of boiling, can be turned into maple syrup. But exactly what tools and tips do you need to make something sweet to pour over a pancake? The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) will offer maple sugaring workshops at two locations on Saturday, Feb. 18.

Temperatures rising above freezing and then dropping below freezing create a pressure in trees that prompts water and nutrients to flow in a tree’s sapwoods. Sugar maple sap has about 3 percent sugar content, which is higher than other trees. That’s why they’re most often tapped. Although, other trees such as walnuts also have sap and can be tapped. But it takes about 40 gallons of maple sugar sap to produce a gallon of syrup. A walnut tree must provide 80 gallons of sap for a gallon of syrup.

But with a few tools such as a drill, a tap, and a bucket, homemade syrup can be created to brighten mealtime. The workshops will provide participants tips on good methods and timing to tap maples and other tree species for syrup making.

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer a maple sugaring workshop 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs. The workshop is free but registration is required. To register, call 816-228-3766.

The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will teach maple sugaring and other woodcraft skills with a free Urban Woodsman III program 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18, at 4750 Troost Ave. in Kansas City. This walk-in program will also address woodcraft such as how to split firewood, sharpen axes and accurately measure a cord of wood. For more information, call 816-759-7300.

To learn more about how trees make sap and people make maple sugar, visit