Why Some Trees and not Oth­ers?

Modern Pioneer - - Maple -

Of all trees that grow in the for­est, why are some trees tapped for their sap and not oth­ers? The sap of many trees is har­vested, each with its own uses. All trees pro­duce sap—it is their “blood”—but only some of that sap is ed­i­ble. The sap of ev­er­greens (pine, spruce, hem­lock, etc.) is very com­bustible, and has been used to make torches, start fires, make tur­pen­tine and even for medic­i­nal pur­poses. The sap of oak trees is made up of tan­nin, or tan­nic acid, which can be toxic in high doses if in­gested. Tra­di­tion­ally, it has been used in the tan­ning process. When you’re out tap­ping trees, be sure to tap only what’s use­ful—and safe—for con­sum­able syrup.

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