Michigan State University has launched a line of maple syrup products, called Spartan Pure Maple Syrup, made from sugar maple trees in Decatur, near Kalamazoo.
“I’m encouraged to see MSU tapping into maples, an underused resource that covers the state of Michigan,” says Art Currey, president of the Michigan Maple Syrup Association. “With the expertise of the MSU Forestry Department, good things will happen through research for maple syrup producers throughout the state.”
The MSU Department of Forestry used about 2,000 sugar maple trees spanning 70 acres, leaving 10 acres untapped to compare growth with that of tapped trees.
“The plan is to inventory, grade, and value all of the trees being tapped on the 70 acres,” says Greg Kowalewski, resident forester at Michigan State University.
Kowalewski says Michigan ranks fifth in U.S. maple syrup production, even though 1 percent of maple forests in the state are used to make syrup, which he hopes to change through the project. He says maple syrup is mostly produced in the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada.
The Spartan Pure Maple Syrup has no additives or preservatives. Half pints sell for nearly $8, pints for about $14, and quarts for about $20. The product is on sale at Michigan State and online. The university plans to sell the syrup in other locations across the state.â€‹