The perfect maple has an 80% crown of leaves and 20% tree stump. These are great shade trees, real beauties in the fall with brilliant yellow, orange and scarlet leaves. It gets plenty of sunshine here on the edge of the woods and in the spring the sap pails are often running over with sweet sap. The maple tree is really a natural sugar factory. Photosynthesis is the process by which chlorophyll and sunlight work within a tree’s leaves to make sugar from carbon dioxide and water. This high-energy sugar feeds the tree while it grows in the spring and in the summer. The leftover sap in the fall is sent to the sapwood in the tree roots and tree trunk to be stored as starch for the winter. Just before spring, the frozen sap thaws out, mixes with water from the roots and CO2 gas in the tree and then “runs” up and down and around the tree to feed the buds. When the leaves open, photosynthesis begins again. When we tap a tree – a mere 10% of the tree’s sap goes into our sap buckets!
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