Vermont has an ideal climate for growing sugar maple trees; an ideal climate for good sap flow; and a syrup making know-how which has been handed down from generation to generation. An air of romance associated with this long established industry calls back many people each year to hear the roar of the raging fire, to inhale the sweet aroma of the boiling syrup, and to partake of the unmatched flavor of Vermont maple syrup.
Approximately forty years are required to grow a maple tree large enough to tap. A tree ten inches in diameter is considered minimum tappable size for one tap. Some trees are large enough for more than one tap. It takes approximately 40 gallons to produce one gallon of syrup. The normal maple season lasts 4 to 6 weeks, sometimes starting as early as February in southern Vermont and lasting into late April in northern Vermont.
Vermont has a strictly enforced
law controlling standards of density, flavor and color. The grade of maple
syrup must be plainly and correctly marked on each container, along with
the name and address of the producer.
Vermont's law requires syrup to be free from any preservatives or other additives. Pure Vermont maple syrup is an excellent source of organic sugar.
Vermont maple syrup is made into pure maple sugar, maple cream and maple candies. These pure maple products are made by evaporating more water from pure maple syrup and controlling the crystallization process during cooling.
The tourist industry has had a very positive impact on maple marketing, and maple products are presently being shipped to countries all over the world.
Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the United States, producing about 37 percent of the total U.S. crop in 2000. Every county in Vermont produces some maple syrup. It is estimated that we have around 2,000 maple producers in the state. In 2000, those producers made an estimated 460,000 gallons of maple syrup, with a value of approximately $13,340,000.
Production varies from year to year, with the weather playing an important role.
The following maple production figures for major maple producing states in New England and New York for the past few years show how Vermont's production compares to other states in the region.
|Maple Syrup Production 2003-2005 (1,000 Gallons)|
|Source: New England Agricultural Statistics Service, NASS, USDA June 10, 2005|