Maple Tree Forest
June 25, 2024

How Maple Syrup is Produced

1. Tree Selection and Tapping

The production of maple syrup begins with the selection of sugar maple trees (Acer saccharum), which are known for their high sugar content. Trees typically need to be about 40 years old and at least 10 inches in diameter to be tapped.

Tapping Process

  • Drilling: A small hole, about 2 inches deep, is drilled into the tree.
  • Spile Insertion: A spile (a tap) is then inserted into the hole. This allows the sap to flow out.
  • Collection: The sap can be collected in buckets hung from the spile or through tubing systems that transport the sap to a central collection area.

2. Sap Collection

Sap is collected during the sugaring season, which typically occurs in early spring when temperatures fluctuate between freezing at night and thawing during the day. This temperature change is crucial as it creates pressure inside the tree, causing the sap to flow.

3. Sap Transport

Collected sap is transported to the sugarhouse, also known as a sugar shack or sap house, where it will be processed. In modern operations, vacuum systems and tubing networks are often used to transport sap efficiently.

4. Evaporation

The sap is about 98% water and 2% sugar. To make syrup, most of the water needs to be evaporated, concentrating the sugars.

Boiling Process

  • Initial Boiling: The sap is boiled in large, shallow evaporator pans, which are often wood-fired or oil-fired. The large surface area allows water to evaporate quickly.
  • Reverse Osmosis: Some producers use reverse osmosis machines to remove a significant amount of water before boiling, making the process more efficient.
  • Final Boiling: The sap is boiled down until it reaches about 66% sugar content, transforming into syrup. This stage requires careful monitoring to avoid burning and to achieve the right consistency.

5. Filtering

Once the sap reaches the desired sugar concentration, it is filtered to remove any impurities, such as sugar sand (niter), which can form during boiling.

6. Grading and Packaging

Maple syrup is then graded based on its color and flavor. In Canada, the grades include:

  • Golden, Delicate Taste
  • Amber, Rich Taste
  • Dark, Robust Taste
  • Very Dark, Strong Taste

The syrup is finally packaged in sterilized containers to ensure it remains fresh and uncontaminated.

7. Quality Control

Producers often conduct various quality control measures, including taste testing and density checking, to ensure the syrup meets industry standards and consumer expectations.


The production of maple syrup is a time-honored process that combines traditional methods with modern technology to create a delicious, natural sweetener. The unique climate and forests of Ontario provide ideal conditions for maple syrup production, making Oneroot Maple Syrup renowned for its quality and flavor.