I spent much of my teenage years in the state of Vermont, and as such, I have an appreciation for real maple syrup, and a deep contempt of the flavored sugar sludge that so often passes itself off as maple syrup. That said, the real stuff is expensive, thanks to how it’s made. But leave it to science to come up with a new method that’s not just more effective, but really pretty creepy!

Scientist? Or Vampire?

Here’s how it works: Maple syrup is made by boiling off maple tree sap. The sweet stuff flows down from the crown of a mature tree into a bucket. This, plus the labor intensive boiling process, limits supply.

But in maple saplings, the sweet sap flows upwards, out of the roots. So, to get a lot more sap for syrup, all you have to do is… uh… cut the top off the sapling, stick a vacuum over that, and suck out all the syrup.

Look, didn’t we say it was creepy? It’s right there in the headline.

Syrupy Shenanigans

This is good for maple syrup producers because, well, it’s a lot cheaper to plant a bunch of saplings and go vampire on them, and saplings aren’t generally attacked by common maple pests. So basically, it would change the maple syrup industry as we know it, and make getting actual syrup a heck of a lot cheaper, if you can get past that whole “beheading baby trees and sucking out their blood” thing.

I Am All That Is Man


You won’t see “Creepy Syrup” on the shelves right away: The industry is still arguing about how this should be labeled and mitigating the effects on smaller syrup producers. But either way, expect a lot more of the good stuff to be coming to shelves, and soon. Also expect hipsters to scorn it in favor of the old-fashioned way.

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Dan Seitz

Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.