Sweet Sap Silver Maple

Those who live on low laying, wet, clay farms way be interested in the “Sweet Sap Silver Maple” as a sugar producing tree. I recently found out about this tree while looking through the St. Lawrence Nursery catalog.

This is from the their catalog…

The Sweet Sap Silver Maple is a project that has been in the works since the 1960’s. At that time, H. Cedric Larsson, a regional research forester with the Ontario Dept of Lands and Forests in Maple, Ontario, had found a cultivar of Acer saccharinum with a high sugar content in the sap.It tested somewhere around 3 to 5% sugar content. He gave some root cuttings to his plant breeder friends, one of whom was Fred L Ashworth, the originator of St. Lawrence Nurseries in northern NY state. Fred planted the cuttings and they quickly grew into trees. After Fred died in 1977, Bill MacKently of Potsdam NY took over the nursery. One of the sweet sap maples that Fred had planted was on the nursery property…

The importance of this cultivar is not as a replacement for the sugar maple, but as an addition. Silver maples have more tolerance to wet and/or clay soils. They can be planted on low lands that are not hospitable to sugar maple. They are fast growing, becoming tappable in 8 to 10 years. And this particular cultivar has a higher-than-average sugar content in the sap, which means less hauling and less boiling down.

Using the process of tissue propagation, they are able to make seedlings available for sale. A fast growing tree, higher in sugar than sugar maples and able to grow in wet clay. Might be just what the doctor ordered for some homesteaders and permaculture enthusiasts. Thought I would pass along the information, as I had never heard of this one myself.

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