When celebrating Earth Day it’s important to look at the different ways we can contribute to the health of our planet. In addition to making some of the world’s best syrup and glazes, The Sugarman of Vermont is dedicated to doing our part to help sustain our environment. For some, this means recycling, turning off lights, and changing the way they commute. At Sugarman of Vermont, we care a great deal about our planet and the maple tree syrup comes from. Here are a few ways Sugarman of Vermont protects maple trees when making syrup.
Ways Sugarman of Vermont Protects Maple Trees
Sugarman of Vermont prioritizes sustainable practices in many different ways. One key way is in the way that we choose to partner with maple tree partners. Sugarman of Vermont will always partner with quality maple tree owners who have a safe and sustainable tapping process that never hurts the tree.
Tapping maple trees doesn’t have to harm them.
Many think that the act of tapping a maple tree is harmful to the tree. This is not the case when the tree is tapped in the right way. While drilling a hole in the tree can cause a small wound to the tree, most places will drill a hole roughly two inches deep and less than half an inch wide. To a mature maple tree, that is a small hole. More so, the area you drill through is already filled with many small vessels that allow the sap to flow. By the time a tap is removed at the end of the season, the tree will begin to repair itself and within a few years, the hole will be completely closed by new wood growth.
Sustainable maple tree partners don’t overtap a tree.
Tapping a maple tree can be overdone if you are not careful. It is important to look at the size of the tree when deciding how much it should be tapped. For finding the size of the tree, many tree growers will wrap a measuring tape around the tree four feet from the base and determine its circumference. For trees thirty-one inches or smaller, no tapping should be done. For trees thirty-one to forty-four inches, one hole can be drilled. Trees with forty-four to sixty inches around can have two holes and trees over sixty-one inches around can have three holes. When working with maple tree partners, Sugarman of Vermont keeps sustainable practices like this in mind.
Sustainable maple tree partners don’t plug the holes.
As mentioned above, a maple tree can heal a hole with new wood growth over a few years. This is why it is unnecessary for tree growers to plug trees. Many tree growers will tell you that a tree will heal itself from the inside out. Sticking something in as a plug that is not part of the tree can cause it to rot and reject it. Adding any foreign ingredient to these holes can work against the tree’s natural healing process. Instead of plugging these holes, many tree growers will let the tree heal itself over time.
Only tap in season.
Tapping maple trees in the right season has a huge impact on the flavor but that is not the only reason to stay in season. Tapping a maple tree out of season can damage it. Many maple trees store up the nutrients they need throughout the cooler months. When the sap starts to run, the tree is getting rid of excess. Tapping a tree too soon may not work well and it may be harmful to the tree. It is best to only tap trees between early February and late April.
Sustainability doesn’t stop when the tree is tapped.
After following many of the practices above, Sugarman of Vermont takes on sustainable practices in other areas of maple syrup development. Sustainability should start at the tree and continue through the entire process down to the syrup on your table. This means making sustainable choices about packaging, processing, and even the types of energy used in preparing it. At Sugarman of Vermont, we are very proud of the work we put into making sure our maple syrup process puts planet Earth first.
Sap can go bad in as little as three hours, so it is important that this is done in a timely manner. At this point in the process, the syrup is boiled over time to remove more of the water content from the sap. The syrup is then hot-packed into sterilized food grade barrels for pasteurization, with a sample taken during this process for each drum to ensure proper grading, quality, and traceability. Grading of the syrup is important for being able to define the taste, color, and flavor. Lower-grade syrup such as commercial-grade is used in industrial settings, whereas higher-grade syrups are used for the retail market. The process of pasteurizing the syrup in drums is to retain its quality and prevent fermentation. This also keeps the syrup from crystallizing.
How is maple syrup bottled and packaged?
The syrup will next be warmed in heaters before being run through another round of filters prior to bottling. This step is meant to ensure that the syrup will be perfectly clear, free of any impurities. The syrup will then be heated to 185°F which sterilizes the bottles and pasteurizes the syrup to guarantee its shelf life. With these procedures, the syrup can have a shelf life of two years.
Once the syrup has been bottled, each bottle will be sealed. This is meant to protect the buyer while preserving the syrup at the same time. From here the syrup will either be delivered directly to one of our many world-class resort partners or be packaged for sale via our website. This will depend greatly on where and how you buy your syrup. Buying syrup online from a trusted syrup company such as The Sugarman of Vermont can guarantee that you receive the best possible product closer to its bottling date.