Hobbyist Resources

This page provides some links to websites, books, videos, and other resources to help you learn about bigleaf maple sugaring.  Also look at the "Commercial" resources as their are many valuable guides listed, especially if you think you might scale up to commercial someday. The commercial section also has links to maple industry suppliers.

"The Oregon Maple Project is a nonprofit organization that engages community members in local production of Bigleaf Maple syrup -- because nature is admirable, trees accomplish astonishing things, and together we can tap in for a taste."

An open information, discussion and networking group for people interested in or are already producers of maple, birch, black walnut and other syrups. 

The mission of this group is to "Learn more and share information on tapping Big Leaf Maples on the Pacific Northwest!" This an active group of hobbyists where you can connect with a lot of other beginners and more experienced bigleaf maple sugarers. 

WSU Extension Forestry provides this email discussion list to connect people across Washington who are tapping or thinking about tapping their bigleaf maple trees for syrup and other products. This is an opportunity for people to share ideas and techniques, ask and answer questions, see where sap is currently flowing, and discuss other things related to producing bigleaf maple syrup. 

A short overview on how to tap bigleaf maple sap. This factsheet by the OSU Extension Foresters Tiffany Fegel/Hopkins and Carrie Berger is an excellent primer for the beginner.

"This how-to book by Gary and Katherine Backland covers all the basics on how to select and tap western maple trees along with the finer points on making good quality liquid gold (maple syrup). Its 96 pages are an easy read and are full of photos and illustrations."

This video is Part 2 of an OSU Extension webinar presented by Barb Lachenbruch. It provides a basic overview of bigleaf maple tapping geared to hobbyiests. For Part 1 on the ecophysiological processes of bigleaf maple sap flow see Ecological Research under the Commercial tab.

Gary Backlund

This video covers "how to tap and make maple syrup from bigleaf maples trees on the West Coast. Covers tree selection, sap handling, evaporation, filtering, syrup finishing and bottling. Filmed near Ladysmith, British Columbia by the Backlund family, who have been tapping their trees for 20 years. The bigleaf maple is also known as broad left male and Oregon maple. The Latin name for this species is Acer macrophyllum."

More Gary Backlund

Bigleaf Maple Syrup (2016) (video)

A video on bigleaf maple syrup featuring Gary Backland. It was produced by the Rural Opportunities Network at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC

"This website is dedicated to helping you learn to tap Bigleaf maple trees for syrup production. Not every tree is a good producer, but most maples will give sap if tapped during the right season and the right weather conditions. Top production is normally during January and February. The water table needs to be high. A few days of below freezing temperatures followed by a warming trend and a sunny day gives ideal tapping...Given ideal conditions single trees have been known to produce up to 200 litres of sap over one week."

Blog posts on bigleaf maple sap production and tapping by author and retired OSU tree physiologist Barb Lachenbruch.

A short pamphlet on bigleaf maple tapping and processing by Harold Macy, Forestry Manager at the University of British Columbia Osyter River Research Farm.

A short informative video on YouTube by filmmaker Ross Reid.