Thursday, March 17, 2005

Davey Maple Tree

When we rented the farm in Spencerport my friends and I made alot of syurp. If you follow a dirt lane over one half a mile back into the woods you will still find our cabin and our sugar house. What you won't find is any maple trees. We built the cabin our second year and spent most all of our spare time back there. We were all single and liked the woods and simple living. We would head back after milking time and cook up a pot of beans, crack a few beers, feed logs into a cast iron stove and solve all the worlds problems. Our cabin was surrounded by huge maple trees. They were the life blood of the camp. Syurp making was a year round exuse to go back there. Of course the sugar house also doubled as a tobacco drying barn. We grew a small patch right next to the cabin. Anyway........After we moved the cows to the new place Dave would still go back there. Every couple of weeks he'd go back and keep the place up, and of course sit and reminess about all the good times us boys had had. One day he called my up and said he had some bad news. The trees were gone! The owners of the farm had logged off every maple tree on the place. Yes, even that huge ole girl back by the 10 acre lot. Dave never went back. The next year we were talking on the phone and he told me his plan. Every year since that call, Dave has ordered 50 maple saplings in the spring. He travels all over the county planting them were ever he thinks one is needed. Kind of like a Johnny Apple Seed for maple trees. He says he wants his grandkids to be able to tap some trees if they want. Hats off to Dave, not many folks plant maples and I'm glad he does. So if you see a stranger on your land with a trowel and a maple, please don't shoot him.....he's just looking out for your grandkids and he don't mean no harm!


At 3/19/2005 6:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, here in Kentucky, we do not have many sugar maples. However, a professor at University of Kenucky is experimenting with various subspecies of silver or water maple. They are a much faster growing variety but do not have near the sugar concentration of a sugar maple. Apparently, he has found a subspecies with higher sugar content.

I have planted a number of sugar maples in our woods and they do quite well in a shady canopy.


At 3/19/2005 9:35 AM, Blogger reformed farmer said...

When we lived in Alaska folks used to make birch syurp. That takes 80 gals to one vs 40 to 1 for maples. It tasted all right. I have been told you can tap black walnut trees also. So has Jeff or anyone out there ever taped black walnuts or know anybody that has?


At 3/19/2005 11:56 AM, Blogger Valerie (Kyriosity) said...

My mom has occasionally made syrup on her stove. She'll wait 'til my cousin's done with his sap collecting for the spring, and then she'll collect the bit that's still running and boil it down on her stove. Sort of like the widow gleaning in the field, only it's her land...well, what's left after NH finishes robbing her via property taxes, but that's another story....

At 3/19/2005 12:54 PM, Blogger Jeff said...

I have never heard of or tried tapping black walnut trees. Walnuts are not quite as scarce here as sugar maples. Back in the late 80's, many small farmers here planted many black walnuts stands as a future investment. It will be another 10-20 years before they can cash in.


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