|Spiles: (L to R) elderberry, sumac, late 1800s model, 1950s model|
|Embarassingly out of focus shot of the ESS group |
carving their own sumac/elderberry spiles
- Norway maple** (Acer platanoides)
- Boxelder (Acer negundo)
- Silver maple (Acer saccharinum)
- Red maple (Acer rubrum)
- White ash (Fraxinus americana)
- Apple (Malus domesticus)
- Big-toothed aspen (Populus grandidentata)
- Black cherry (Prunus serotina)
- Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis)
- Black locust** (Robinia pseudo-acacia)
- Smoke tree** (Cotinus sp.)
- Black walnut (nigra)
- Paper birch (Betula papyrifera) Zac thinks it's a gray birch, but we'll see.
We're planning on tapping European larch (Larix decidua), red oak (Quercus rubra), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina)**, and a buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica)** as well.
I'll post results of our experiment as they emerge!
Also, I included Norway maple in this list even though the sap is perfectly edible. Trees get "buddy" by the end of the season as they shift from sending sugar/nutrients from the roots up to the twigs to producing chemical defenses. During the summer a broken Norway maple leaf stem will ooze a milky white sap, which tastes terrible. As the early spring sap flow progresses, the sap of Norway maple shifts to being murkier and fouler. I would assume that at this time they're ramping up defenses for the emergence of flying insects and other would-be predators.
Other notes: One thing we said at the Earth Skills Seminar today is that we won't talk about edible/medicinal things that we haven't ourselves tried. I read a lot of bogus stuff on the internet about different saps - a lot of people just citing other unreliable sources. What we hope to do here is take calculated risks to know for myself what is and what isn't a reliable source of sap each spring.