MISSOURI — The state of Missouri has sugar maple trees just like the ones many Northeasterners use for making maple syrup and sugar.

According to the Missouri Department of Conservation you can tap almost any deciduous tree in the late winter to collect sap for making the syrup and sugar. The trees typically grow in forested uplands however, you can also find them in lowlands next to creeks or in your backyard. The MDC does state that collecting tree sap of any kind is not allowed on MDC conservation areas.

When tapping a tree you should make sure its at least ten inches in diameter at breast height and wait until the temperature stays consistently below freezing at night and above freezing during the day.

Tools to use when tapping a tree include: A tap or spile, a drill, and something to catch the sap in such as milk jugs.

Depending on the size of your bucket you may need to check it several times a day or once a day. If the temperature doesn’t warm above freezing, you will not have to collect that day.

For more information on maple sugaring visit https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/activities/maple-sugaring.