Skip to main content

Making delicious syrup from tree sap

The warm February days mean syrup making season is here. Discover which trees make syrup and how to get started.

Upcoming free classes

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting a free online class on February 20 and an in-person class on February 24 in Blue Springs, MO.

  • A virtual Sap to Syrup class will be offered from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20. The course will cover tree selection, equipment, and cooking processes needed to collect sap and boil it into delicious syrup.
  • 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.

Registration is required for both classes.

Syrup-making basics

According to the MDC, 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.

For more information on maple sugaring in Missouri, visit

Lead photo by Susy Morris | CC BY

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments