If you drive down Charles Avenue just West of Victoria and look closely, you will start to see a number of the boulevard trees have been tapped by residents who are boiling down the sap for maple syrup. Some of the trees have been so prolific that neighbors have posted invitations on Facebook to stop by and pick up extra gallons of sap from their front porches to take home.
People have been producing maple syrup in this area for hundreds of years, but the image one has of tree tapping is often reserved for rural locations. There is growing interest in Frogtown for urban farming and gardening, and this is yet another sign that people are interested in producing food at the most local level- their own front yards.
If you are interested in trying this out on your block, look for trees suitable for tapping which include all of the maple family: sugar, silver and red maples as well as box elder. Other species of trees, which reportedly may be tapped include walnut, hickories, sycamore and sweet birch. The flow of sap is highly dependent upon weather conditions. Flow does not begin until after a time of hard freeze, followed by several sunny days with temperatures in the 40s. The peak flow occurs early in the sugaring season when it freezes at night and is bright and sunny the next day with the temperature in the 40s.
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Coverage of issues and events that affect Central Corridor neighborhoods and communities is funded in part by a grant from Central Corridor Collaborative.