Making maple syrup was a native American tradition. Legend has it that a chiefs wife boiled venison in the sap collected from a maple tree that he was using for tomahawk practice. They enjoyed the sweet flavor and soon the process of making syrup and sugar evolved.
For more information see:http://jimmar.hubpages.com/hub/Making-Maple-Syrup-in-the-Back-Yard
Step 1: How Much Sap Do I Need?
Sap can be collected from most maple trees, even from Birch or Box Elder trees. The Sugar Maple has the highest concentration of sugar in the sap.
Sap needs to be collected in the spring when the daytime temperatures are above freezing but below 40F. and the nights are frosty.
To make 1 gallon of syrup will take about 40 gallons of sap, depending on sugar content. So if the sap contains 2% sugar you need 43 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. Sap from a Sugar Maple is typically 2.5% concentration, so you would need about 34 gallons of sap.
Shown are leafs from the sugar maple and red maple