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posted: 2/27/2013 3:20 PM

Maple trees offer more than just syrup

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  • Sarah Henry, 11, of Batavia takes her turn practicing with a hand drill during a maple sugaring program for home-schooled kids at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve in St. Charles.

       Sarah Henry, 11, of Batavia takes her turn practicing with a hand drill during a maple sugaring program for home-schooled kids at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve in St. Charles.
    RICK WEST | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Sap drips from a metal spire in a sugar maple tree at a maple-sugaring demonstration at Johnson's Mound in Elburn.

       Sap drips from a metal spire in a sugar maple tree at a maple-sugaring demonstration at Johnson's Mound in Elburn.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Many varieties of maple trees, such as this one at SEBA Park in South Elgin, are known for their glorious fall colors.

       Many varieties of maple trees, such as this one at SEBA Park in South Elgin, are known for their glorious fall colors.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Sap drips from a freshly drilled hole in a sugar maple at a maple sugaring event at Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve in St. Charles. Warm temperatures allow the sap to flow at a speedy pace into the metal collection buckets hung from the tap.

       Sap drips from a freshly drilled hole in a sugar maple at a maple sugaring event at Tekakwitha Woods Forest Preserve in St. Charles. Warm temperatures allow the sap to flow at a speedy pace into the metal collection buckets hung from the tap.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2007

  • Ken King of St. Charles and Sue Everson of Elgin explain the process of simmering maple sap Sunday at Maple Sugaring Days event at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve in St. Charles. The annual education event was staffed by volunteers for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.

       Ken King of St. Charles and Sue Everson of Elgin explain the process of simmering maple sap Sunday at Maple Sugaring Days event at Brewster Creek Forest Preserve in St. Charles. The annual education event was staffed by volunteers for the Forest Preserve District of Kane County.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2011

  • Oberon Scheeler, 7, sips pure maple syrup near a fireplace in the Sugar House during the McHenry County Conservation District's Festival of the Sugar Maples at Coral Woods near Marengo. Oberon was with his sister Tatiana, 4, and mother Renee of Elgin.

       Oberon Scheeler, 7, sips pure maple syrup near a fireplace in the Sugar House during the McHenry County Conservation District's Festival of the Sugar Maples at Coral Woods near Marengo. Oberon was with his sister Tatiana, 4, and mother Renee of Elgin.
    JOHN STARKS | Staff Photographer, 2009

  • Sara Coleman, 8, practices drilling a maple tree for sap with her Brownie Troop 1176 of Cary at the Festival of the Sugar Maples in Marengo. The McHenry County Conservation District's annual event takes place at Coral Woods, where guests can take an hourlong walk through the process of making maple syrup.

       Sara Coleman, 8, practices drilling a maple tree for sap with her Brownie Troop 1176 of Cary at the Festival of the Sugar Maples in Marengo. The McHenry County Conservation District's annual event takes place at Coral Woods, where guests can take an hourlong walk through the process of making maple syrup.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer, 2011

 

'tis the season to think maple. granted, this is not vermont, it's illinois. nor is it autumn, it's winter. but our native illinois maple trees are noteworthy, especially now, when the sap is rising and maple trees bring the promise of spring.

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