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tahir

Edible tree saps

One of the things that I'll be looking to do when I get my land is to produce tree syrups so I've been asking around to see which tree saps are edible and this is what I've come up with so far:

Maple (including Sycamore)
Birch
Walnut
Hickory
Lime
and some species of Alder

Anybody ever tried any of the above?
boff

Re: Edible tree saps

tahir wrote:


Anybody ever tried any of the above?


One for cab and the tree lickers me thinks geek
Northern_Lad

Re: Edible tree saps

boff wrote:
One for cab and the tree lickers me thinks geek


I tend to stick to frogs myself.

Cracking idea, Tahir. Aren't the volumes of sap needed about 100 times the end product when making such syrups?
tahir

Re: Edible tree saps

Northern_Lad wrote:
Aren't the volumes of sap needed about 100 times the end product when making such syrups?


Depends on species, apparently maple needs to be concentrated to 5% of it's original volume but birch is around 1%, and the composition is completely different, I think Birch is mainly fructose and glucose whereas Maple is sucrose (might have got that the wrong way round)
Bugs

Never tried any except maple, from a jar. Pity you didn't post this earlier in the year, we could have borrowed some from next door's (because it is next doors, not ours...if it's ours we want another 2 ft of garden all along the boundary) HUGE sycamore...

I've never really heard of any other sap but birch being used, and then only for wine. Do you just use them for desserts and sweetening? Will you need any special equipment to process it all?
tahir

Just a pan and a heat source. It'll take a few years to get into production anyway.
tahir

They're just sweeteners so I'm sure you could use Birch sap as a dessert syrup.
judith

A few years back we lopped off a limb from a silver birch while the sap was rising. The sap fairly poured out. I just wish I had had the presence of mind to collect it (knew nothing in those days Very Happy ).
cab

I'm told that alder also has edible sap, but I don't have anything to back that up at the moment. Other than that, the list you have looks good.

I'd add that you may want to make sure of getting the Canadian maple that's used for syrup, the flavour is reknowned as being much better than any other Acer sp. How well it grows here I don't know.
tahir

Well I'm hoping to go on a couple of courses at ART this autumn so I'll be quizzing Martin Crawford on this.
ButteryHOLsomeness

fascinating topic tahir!

this is something dh and i have often discussed when dreaming about our future eco village plans Very Happy

we'd love to plant loads of sugar maples for the gorgeous sap but i do understand that you don't get a lot of end product per tree so having other alternatives or indeed to supplement would be brilliant!

i didn't even know about the other saps being edible so that's even better, birch in particular is so easy to come by in the uk

one thing, does anyone know if sugar maples (canadian maple) are able to grow here? i would think in scotland the climate would be similar to the areas they grow in canada. also, i grew up in the northern part of the midwest in the states and we always had plenty of maple trees, not sure if they were specifically sugar maples but they'd have a tasty sap regardless. london has a very similar climate to where i grew up all throughout the year, even the changes in the light are about the same so i would think that maples would grow just about anywhere in the uk. however it's not like you see loads of them so i have wondered about it for awhile.

hickory is another that grabbed my attention. to be honest, my first choice for growing hickory would be for smoking meat! the syrup would be a bonus Very Happy how well does hickory grow here? to be honest with you i wouldn't recognise a hickory tree for being a hickory tree if it jumped up and bit me on the bum but i do know i'd love to have some! hickory produces the BEST flavour for smoked meats with mesquite coming a close second. the likely hood of being able to grow mesquite here without highly labour and energy intensive methods makes me think that hickory is definately a much better choice anyway.

also, could you produce a blend of saps to make a nice end product? it may well be that one sap or the other is much stronger than the rest so you can use a more prolific sap producing tree to make the foundation of the syrup but then add in a percentage of the stronger flavoured sap to come up with perhaps not a superior product but definately a good one... just a thought, i know nothing about this topic Confused
Bugs

Agroforestry (that I think Tahir's talking about doing courses with) definitely sell sugar maples, and T says if they sell it, it's pretty certain to grow here.

Did you ever try getting sap from your local maples?
tahir

Yup if ART sell it then it's been trialled in the UK, they sell hickories too.
tahir

Well I'm booked up for Forest Gardening in September and Nut Crops in October
Dunc

I'd love to hear more when you've been on the courses Tahir - I'm a major maple syrup addict. Fortunately, my friend in Quebec keeps me supplied with big tins of the stuff when she visits.

A side benefit if you did grow maples would be the amazing colouring in autumn. Pop a few blueberry bushes underneath and it will look even better.
tahir

Well I need to learn loads so I'll be taking plenty of piccies and copious notes, so maybe it'll be my first article
ButteryHOLsomeness

Dunc wrote:
I'd love to hear more when you've been on the courses Tahir - I'm a major maple syrup addict. Fortunately, my friend in Quebec keeps me supplied with big tins of the stuff when she visits.

A side benefit if you did grow maples would be the amazing colouring in autumn. Pop a few blueberry bushes underneath and it will look even better.


ahh yes, blazing fiery red/orange, absolutely gorgeous!

when i lived in texas i really missed the colour change in the autumn so my daddy took me to a place a few hours drive from us (we lived in san antonio) to a place called Lost Maples State Natural Area http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/park/lostmap/ and it was like being home again!

about the blueberries...will they grow at the feet of trees? i thought they liked it boggier than that?
ButteryHOLsomeness

i found another site about lost maples that has a lot of pictures to drool over Very Happy

http://community.webshots.com/album/7341233DvxdAFYKrO

this photo is my dream piece of land (well, part of it Wink )
http://community.webshots.com/photo/7342653/7342653xoSyNTTwPG

this photo shows a place that i remember well, my daddy and i sat there eating our picnic lunch and feeding the fish. the water is so clean you can see to the bottom (actually the medina river is like that too, you can see 6 feet down clear as day) that was a great day out... awwwww the memories Very Happy
http://community.webshots.com/photo/7341856/7341856CuIqaleyPA
Res

Re: Edible tree saps

tahir wrote:
One of the things that I'll be looking to do when I get my land is to produce tree syrups so I've been asking around to see which tree saps are edible and this is what I've come up with so far:

Maple (including Sycamore)
Birch
Walnut
Hickory
Lime
and some species of Alder

Anybody ever tried any of the above?


Does the Maples include Field Maples?
I know they grow well here, but not tried any sap Wink
cab

Field maple is an Acer, yes, but I've never heard of anyone using the sap.
Res

This is a facinating subject matter, I know we have been talking about foraging but this is a totally new side of it for me.

Thanks Tahir Wink
Res

BTW, what/who does "ART" stand for?
mochyn

The maple in question is, I think, A. saccharum, the sugar maple. That is, according to the RHS! It's fully hardy in Britain: we used to have a large one at the college where I worked and the autumn colour was excellent. Never tried to make syrup from it, though.
tahir

ART is www.agroforestry.co.uk

Martin from ART says that all maples have edible saps, trees are pretty much his bag so I assume he knows what he's on about but I'll quiz him further when I see him in September.
Blue Peter

You might be able to get some sap out of a maple, but I doubt that you'd get the quantities that they do in, say, Canada. From a trip to a shop where they produced maple syrup, the process seemed to depend upon the cold nights (below freezing), but warm days that they had in spring. The temperature difference is what seemed to really make the sap rise.

Also, at least for selling, they seemed to have to treat the syrup with UV to get rid of some nasty,


Peter.
tahir

I have got a set of figures somewhere for sap concentrations etc just can't find 'em
gil

AFAIK, here are some :

sugar maple 40:1
silver birch 80 or 100:1
sycamore even weaker than birch

If you tap a walnut, you risk the nut crop for the year.

Would the alder be alnus glutinosa, by any chance ? I've got a few of thm as well, and they might as well earn their keep, apart from being good for sopping up moisture from wet ground.

Birch : 8 pints of sap to make 2 fl oz syrup. On that basis, I'd rather have a gallon of wine.

Also, going by cpg03's posts from NE US, they tap a tree for far longer than 24hrs, so they must extract rather more than a gallon per tree. It would be good if he could explain the process over there in more detail, including what capacity vats they use to boil up in. That's a lot of steam, too.

Sap-powered steam engines, there's a thought...
Blue Peter

ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
i would think in scotland the climate would be similar to the areas they grow in canada.


-30 to +30? (at a guess) I think that you'll find that Canada has far more extreme temperatures than we do. The area round Niagara Falls is their "banana state" where it only gets done to around -25 (if I remember my conversation with the shop assistant correctly),


Peter.
Bugs

gil wrote:
going by cpg03's posts from NE US, they tap a tree for far longer than 24hrs


24hrs is the max recommended in order to not do long term damage to the tree, is that right? Maybe the trees are bigger/tougher/more at home where cpg03 is?
Blue Peter

Blue Peter wrote:
ButteryHOLsomeness wrote:
i would think in scotland the climate would be similar to the areas they grow in canada.


-30 to +30? (at a guess) I think that you'll find that Canada has far more extreme temperatures than we do. The area round Niagara Falls is their "banana state" where it only gets done to around -25 (if I remember my conversation with the shop assistant correctly),


Peter.


Crickey! I've just responded to something written nearly a year ago. I thought that it was a new thread Embarassed I started to twig when I saw that I'd already replied...last year Embarassed


Peter.
tahir

gil wrote:
Would the alder be alnus glutinosa, by any chance ?


Yup
tahir

Just dug out Vol2 No3 from my desk (always handy to keep a few copies at work Laughing )

Field Maple
Lower flow but higher concentration than Sycamore

Oregon Maple
Good flow, good concntration, grows well in the UK

Norway Maple
Used for maple syrup in Scandinavia

Sycamore
Good flow, 1-2% sugars; 18 ltrs=450g maple sugar

Red maple
Good and early flow, low concentration

Silver Maple
Good flow, high concentration

Birches
Most birches are tappable, good flow, avg 2% sugars

Apart from Birch and maple anything in the walnut family; hickory, pecan, heartnut, walnut etc is tappable so are the Limes** (Tilia), other tappable species include:

Alnus cordata (Italian Alder, I've got 500 of them)
Alnus rubra (Red Alder)
Platanus Occidentalis (American Plane)
Populus Tremuloides (American Aspen)

** I had a hunch about that which is why I looked it all up.
gil

tahir wrote:
gil wrote:
Would the alder be alnus glutinosa, by any chance ?


Yup


Great. Experimental gallon of alder wine coming up !


bugs wrote:
24hrs is the max recommended in order to not do long term damage to the tree, is that right? Maybe the trees are bigger/tougher/more at home where cpg03 is?


That's why I want to know how they do it, and the thinking behind it.
tahir

gil wrote:
tahir wrote:
gil wrote:
Would the alder be alnus glutinosa, by any chance ?


Yup


Great. Experimental gallon of alder wine coming up !


Maybe not, see my last post
gil

Tahir - alnus glutinosa isn't on your list of tappables. Should it be ?

Edit : just seen your previous post. Ah well.
tahir

Someone's got to do the Lime Sap, should be abundant eh?
tahir

gil wrote:
Tahir - alnus glutinosa isn't on your list of tappables. Should it be ?

Edit : just seen your previous post. Ah well.


I would still say it should be, I'll check with the man
gil

tahir wrote:
Someone's got to do the Lime Sap, should be abundant eh?


Just what I was thinking - mate of mine has an avenue of mature limes down to the farmhouse Laughing
tahir

gil wrote:
Just what I was thinking - mate of mine has an avenue of mature limes down to the farmhouse Laughing


More than enough Lime in the country, and some of them are huge, I reckon all Downsizers should experiment with this one.
tahir

tahir wrote:
I'll check with the man


Just emailed him, it'll probably be a couple of days before I get a reply
gil

Cheers. In the meantime, bit and brace at the ready....
tahir

He says he doesn't see why it shouldn't be although he's never tried it and has seen no literature suggesting that it is, worth experimenting.
dpack

apple, cherry , pear .

and the above

and most pinus spp .
dpack

almost like taking candy from a baby Cool
cab

dpack wrote:
apple, cherry , pear .

and the above

and most pinus spp .


Ahh, now cherry... Is that actually a good idea? Aren't there going to be some cyanide based compounds in that sap?
Slim

It seems like loads of folks are interested in sugaring? I'm thinking of starting up a thread devoted to the art as practised in New England. Is there interest?
dpack

you may be correct but i live .

dried cherry sap sweeties are ace ....(maybe , i wont report if they are well toxic )

i was licking sap TODAY where branches were cut
no plant is as toxic as a human or as constructive .

99 9 per cent of species that have lived are extinct why should i thinkl i am special ..
try owt ,,,,,cherry sap sweets ok ,at least in moderation

discuss
dpack

i wont be back if i get it wrong but dried cherry sap tastes ok , i will test it properly .

i am sure i have eaten it before but maybe ,,,,,,,,,UUUGGHHHH .

LATER I WILL REPORT ............................................................ Laughing
gil

There's definitely interest in tapping various trees (maple, birch, walnut, lime, alder) with the intention of using the sap for various purposes : some folk here would like to make syrup, others wine, others.... who knows (what else could we do with it ?).

So for the potential syrup-makers, more info greatly appreciated, and also re the tapping process, since your method seems so different from the 'conventional wisdom' here, which is that you only tap each tree with a single tap, for 24 hrs or 1 gallon, whichever comes soonest.
At thet rate we'd need an awful lot of trees !
dpack

bad dpack was licking freshly cut branch stumps today . yum

should i hand myself over to edward?
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