When the first settlers came to Ohio the area was covered with the maple sugar trees, she said. And as a result, the area has been the epicenter of maple sugaring innovation. However, most of the trees have been chopped down because of development.
On Thursday, I was in charge of holding the steel spiles, or spout, that is placed inside the bark of the tree to direct the tap flow.
I stood by as she carved out a quarter size hole in the tree. It was about a half inch deep into the bark. She noted that the small incision does not harm the tree’s vein system. I placed the second spile into the tree.
The clear sap slowly dripped into a tin bucket. She told me that, by the next morning, it would be filled with the sugary liquid. I admit I am a bit of a doubter that it would fill that quickly. However, the sap she gathers will be used for one of the demonstrations at Saturday’s Maple Sugaring Fest at Olander.
This festival at educates patrons on the history of maple sugaring and demonstrates the traditional way Native Americans extracted the sap from trees. They taught the first settlers how to turn liquid into sugar, a cheaper sweet compared to the expensive sugar coming from the West Indies, Ms. Buri said.
Fluctuations in weather is needed for a great sap year, freezing winter nights and warm days. She said this winter was not too kind to the sap season.
The sugar maple tree on Olander’s property is in a sunny position and she tapped it on the south side. The park has planted many saplings at Sylvan Prairie Park, but they are too young to be tapped, she said. Trees should be at least 40 years old before they are tapped.
In any case, I plan on attending the event Saturday and hope to see many of you there