Why Some Trees and not Others?
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.