Climate Stories

Maple Sugar

As an agricultural practice with Indigenous roots, maple sugaring has been an annual tradition across the Northeast and beyond for a long time.

As winter transitions to spring, sap in sugar maple trees begins moving up and down the tree's trunk, and that sap can be collected and transformed into syrup and other sugary delights. Since air temperature drives the process, scientists are interested in how climate change might impact maple sugaring in the future. To date, scientists have discovered three main impacts: a shifting sugaring season, changes to the amount of sap produced, and changes to the sap’s sugar content.

From tracking the timing of sap flow to measuring sap volume and sugar content, there's much that students can learn about their local ecosystem, and climate change impacts, through maple sugaring. It's a rich topic with numerous entry points for learning from the forest back to the classroom.

We’re still developing our first student learning experiences. Check back here for soon for our first dispatches!