Now’s the time to tap maple trees for sugar syrup, and you can learn how at two free Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) workshops this Saturday, February 22.

MDC’s Burr Oak Woods Nature Center will offer a workshop from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, 1401 N.W. Park Road in Blue Springs, MO. The workshop is free and open to all ages. Get more information at Discover Nature: Maple Sugaring.

The Anita B. Gorman Discovery Center will teach maple sugaring and other woodcraft skills with a free Urban Woodsman program from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday at 4750 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO. This free, walk-in program will also address woodcraft such as how to split firewood, sharpen axes and accurately measure a cord of wood. Conservationists will be flipping homemade pancakes and serving them with real maple and walnut syrup. Find more information, at Urban Woodsman.

Trees can be tapped for sap in the late winter, and with a bit of boiling, can be turned into maple syrup. When temperatures rise above freezing and then drop below freezing, pressure is created in the trees that prompts water and nutrients to flow in a tree’s sapwoods. Sugar maple sap has about three-percent sugar content, which is higher than other trees. According to MDC, that’s why they’re most often tapped. Other trees such as walnuts also have sap and can be tapped. 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.

Participants will be provided with the necessary tools, including a drill, a tap and a bucket. The workshops will provide participants tips on good methods and timing to tap maples and other tree species for syrup making.

To learn more about how trees make sap and people make maple syrup, visit MDC.