Birch and Maple Syrup – Native Plant Spotlights

What is sweet that Big Leaf Maple and Paper Birch trees have in common?



Paper Birch (Betula papyrifera commutata)

© Sue Sweeney, Young paper birches strut their colors, CC BY-SA 3.0The bark of this tree is orange-brown to white and papery with self-peeling strips of bark and occasional black scars. Paper birch prefers sunny, rich, moist, sandy soils along streams, lakes and natural openings

Check out this resource from University of Alaska Extension for how to make syrup from Paper Birch trees.

Big Leaf Maple (Acer macrophyllum)

Photo Credit: User: Doug Dolde, BIG LEAF MAPLES HOH, CC BY-SA 3.0
The leaves from Big Leaf Maple are the largest in the maple family. This tree is commonly found growing with lichen, moss and licorice fern. Springtime blooms lime green flowers and produce a double samara, winged seed. Check out the nutritional benefits, and how to tap trees from the OSU extension publication linked below. “Big Leaf Maple syrup is high in minerals….Concentrations of macro and micro nutrients in the soil impact the flavor of the syrup”.

Check out this resource from Oregon State University extension for how to make syrup from Big Leaf Maple trees.

Also, both trees are available at KCD’s Native Plant Sale in 2018!

The Ethnobotanical Guide from Pierce Conservation District for Big Leaf Maple and Paper Birch provide great information for further information and traditional uses of these trees.

Featured Image Photo Credit: Dripping Maple Goodness, By LadyDragonflyCC, CC BY 2.0

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