Nature Matters: It's Syrup Season!

By KBJR News 1

March 28, 2011 Updated Mar 29, 2011 at 8:43 AM CDT

Duluth MN (Northland's NewsCenter) It's sweet, sticky and lots of fun to gather.

In this week's Nature Matters David Hoole hits the trail with a group of youngsters in search of maple syrup and finds it takes a little work to get at the sweetness of springtime.
Traveling in the early spring isn't easy. Ice crusted trails and steep hills are a lot to overcome ... especially when you're just seven. But there are treasures in the hardwood forest.

"It's very sugary"
"It's sweet!"
"I Love Maple syrup"

These Kenwood Edison Students hiked to the Bagley Nature Area at UMD to learn about Maple trees (nat break... opposing branches). The youngsters saw the tools of the trade for harvesting the sap, (nat... this is a spile) and even got to tap some trees.

(Nat of brice and bit)
While learning how to harvest maple syrup, the students also learned some plant biology.

"The leaves send the sugars down to the roots in the fall and in the spring we get that going up the tree in the springtime."

"It tastes like Sprite without the bubbles"

The syrup harvest is a little behind schedule this season. Being that above freezing temperatures are sought to get the sap running, this chilly day the run was a little slow.
Luckily, our guide was prepared... (store bought syrup)

In Duluth, I'm David Hoole for Nature Matters.

Maple Syrup season can last several weeks, slowing down when the night time temperatures quit dropping below freezing.