Why Using Wood to Produce Maple Syrup is Earth Friendly

Using wood in our evaporators is an important decision because it goes to the foundation of Thorn Hills philosophy on why we do business. We are on a mission to provide healthy all natural sugars to the public. We aim to do this while being good stewards to the forest we manage and the Earth we inhabit.

We use wood because using it helps us make the worlds best tasting maple syrup, it helps keep our forest healthy and it is carbon neutral which is simply the best choice for fuel for our environment.

Walking through a healthy arboreal maple forest it is important to understand that they are generally older established forests. It takes about forty years for a sugar maple to mature enough to tap. So a forest of maple trees is at least 40 to 50 years old. This forest exists as an interconnected ecosystem. The maple tree is a rare hydrogenous tree that actually pulls moisture up from the subterranean aquifer and makes some of it available to other threes and plants such as ginseng, brambles, mushrooms and fungus. Other trees such as basswood enrich the soils with nitrogen. Oaks, hickories, and birches provide nuts and food for birds and animals. To understand that how a maple arboreal forest comes into existence we must understand the various natures of the humble maple. Maple, along with its usual companion the beech are two of the most shade tolerant trees that occupy the northern and northeastern parts of North America where maple syrup is made. When an area is logged or destroyed by fire a natural progression takes place. Initially the area is occupied by faster growing trees such as quaking aspen, pine and linden trees. These fast growing trees can be pushed out by oaks, birches, hickory and cherry trees. Finally they are pushed out by maples and beeches who’s canopies choke out the trees who require more sun. Because we understand this process we guard the integrity of the forest and protect our trees. It takes a while to grow a maple tree. We care for the maple trees we can tap them for hundreds of years.

When we burn wood we use a combination of pines and hardwoods. We cull the damaged and sick trees and leave the healthy ones to propagate and fill their n itch in the forest. The pines burn hot while the hardwoods add long lasting coals for sustaining heat. All this insures our forest stay healthy which keeps the earth happy. Thus we can make great tasting maple syrup for generations to come.

From our family to yours have a great maple day.

-Duane Downing

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