Bigleaf Maple Trees in Clackamas County
are Becoming Pretty Sweet

While bigleaf maple syrup may not be as well-known as its counterparts from the northeastern U.S., it has been gaining popularity in recent years. Bigleaf maple syrup boasts a unique flavor profile that sets it apart from other types of maple syrup. Local producers and artisanal syrup makers here in Clackamas County have been at the forefront of this growing industry, producing small batches of high-quality syrup for curious food enthusiasts. 

In response to the increasing interest in bigleaf maple sugaring, OSU Forestry and Natural Resources Extension has established its own bigleaf maple sap collection site (aka sugar bush) with 50 maple trees at Hopkins Demonstration Forest. In its first season alone, over 150 gallons of sap were collected and thousands of visitors of all ages had the chance to witness the process of bigleaf maple sugaring.

Partnerships with groups like Hopkins Demonstration Forest and the Oregon Maple Project of Camp Colton make providing hands-on learning opportunities possible for the emerging field of bigleaf maple sugaring. 

Tapping bigleaf maples includes creating a network of food-grade tubing between trees. (Photo by Melanie Douville)

Forestry Extension faculty tapping Big Leaf Maple.
(Photo by Sarah Cameron)