Sugar, Black, and Red maples are the trees that are important for maple syrup production.
In a balanced, healthy productive sugarbush an ideal number of maples would be approximately 70 per acre.
Maple trees can live to 200 years and beyond and have been tapped for 150 years or more.
The sugar maple has the highest sugar content in its sap of any of the maple species. It averages in the 2.0-2.5 range but can vary from tree to tree and from day to day even in the same sugarbush.
Maple trees should be a minimum of 10” in diameter for tapping. A tree of that size in a forest setting could be 50-60 yrs old.
“The oldest sugar maple in Canada is the “Comfort Tree” in North Pelham, Ontario (Niagara Region) and is estimated to be over 500 yrs. old with a trunk circumference of 20 ft. Robert Comfort acquired the property in North Pelham, Ontario where the tree stands, in 1816. When the family farm was sold in 1946 Earl Comfort and his sister Edna retained the land surrounding the tree. Edna believed that the tree marked an Indian burial ground and that it was visited regularly in pioneer times by groups of First Nations people. This theory is supported by the Indian artifacts found by farmers in and around North Pelham.” Mary Lamb, Archivist for Pelham Historical Society 2008.On April 30, 1961 the “Comfort Maple” was accepted for preservation by the Niagara Penninsula Conservation Authority. Edna donated the land to the Niagara Penninsula Conservation Authority in memory of her brother, Earl.