"HOW TO" RESOURCES
Bigleaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum) Focused Resources
Also see "Resources for the Hobbiest" under the Hobby section of this website. Several of the reading and video resources provided there outline steps that will be duplicated and expanded in commercial operations.
This webinar presented by WSU Extension Forestry includes presentations by Patrick Shults, Kevin Zobrist, and Grace Garrison covering the basics of tapping and processing bigleaf maple sap into syrup.
This 2008 Master of Science thesis by Deirdre Bruce for the Dept. of Geography, University of Victoria has a lot of useful information for commercial interests including ecology, chemistry, tree physiology and sap production, and socioeconomic considerations.
A 1972 report of bigleaf sap production for syrup from a multiyear study by Robert Ruth, Clyde Underwood, Clark Smith, and Hoya Yang. Note that "sirup" is not a typo, but an uncommon alternative spelling. The report is quite old as technology like vacuum tubing and reverse osmosis and spiles and other supplies are significantly improved and/or were not even available or tested during the 1970-71 years of fieldwork for this report. However, the article is worth reading as it does provide some useful historical perspective.
OTHER PRODUCTS FROM BIGLEAF MAPLE
Bigleaf can be managed to produce a variety of products beyond sap for food products.
Zena Forest Products is a small company in the Willamette Valley that specializes in hardwood products like bigleaf maple and Oregon White Oak. This blog page provides an overview of bigleaf and its special qualities from the perspective of a wood products company focused on sustainable forestry systems.
North Woods salvages figured wood from bigleaf maple and other northwest native species to make beautiful natural and dyed pieces of wood that can be used to make knife handles, pens, instruments, and many other products.
Selection of Eastern Sugar Maple (Acer Saccharum) Focused Resources
(Western bigleaf generally uses the same methods & tools to collect sap, but typically
has more cold & warm temperature fluctuations within a season than eastern sugar maple)
This website and bulletin board (Maple Trader) was created for northeast sugar maple producers but like Maple Research.org is an invaluable resource. The news publication has articles for all levels of producers and advertisements for suppliers of equipment. Anyone can join the Maple Trader bulletin board to share experiences and post questions.
This page provides an extensive index of resources to "improve the production and use of maple products by working with producers, consumers, and others interested in this fascinating local product". Be sure to also check the calendar which lists many online courses on topics like how to set up different tapping systems, processing, sanitizing tubing lines, filtering and bottling, maple products beyond syrup, and more.
This website was created for northeast sugar maple producers but the collection and processing methods, equipment and tools, and safety considerations are the same as for bigleaf maple collection so it is an invaluable resource. The site "is a curated resource for sugarmakers to find the most current and scientifically accurate information for maple production, to help all producers make the best products possible using the most current and most sustainable practices".
Selection of Resources on Tapping any Edible Sap Trees
"The Sugarmaker’s Companion is the first guide of its kind addressing the small- and large-scale syrup producer seeking to make a profitable business from maple, birch, and walnut sap. This comprehensive work incorporates valuable information on ecological forest management, value-added products, and the most up-to-date techniques on sap collection and processing. It is, most importantly, a guide to an integrated sugaring operation, interconnected to the whole-farm system, woodland, and community. Farrell documents the untapped potential of American forests and shows how sugaring can turn a substantial profit for farmers while providing tremendous enjoyment and satisfaction". - Chelsea Green Publishing Website Blurb.