You don’t need to tap hundreds of trees to make maple syrup. Even tapping one tree can net you enough syrup to last several months.
This fact sheet from Penn State and Cornell Universities walks you through every step of basic maple syrup production from tapping to bottling.
You tap maples in winter, so you can’t rely on leaves to identify them. This video explains how to spot maples based on their twigs, buds, and bark.
This video illustrates how to hang a bucket to collect sap from a maple tree.
When you’re ready to start tapping, here’s an example online store where you can purchase starter kits.
Maple syrup is the classic woodland crop in the northeastern US, and there are a host of resources, organizations, and maple producers available to help you get started.
If you want to make maple syrup just for personal use, consider the turkey fryer-and-stovetop method over large equipment.
If you want to produce syrup commercially, you’ll need hands-on, in-woods advice.
Many existing syrup makers are happy to show off their setup. Get to know other syrup makers to learn how to start or expand your operation.