Please Do Not Tap The Maples


Tapping public trees for syrup is illegal, potentially harmful, officials warn

The City of Missoula Urban Forestry Division reminds residents that tapping City-owned maple trees for syrup is not only illegal but can be harmful to the tree. Tapping an already-stressed street tree depletes its natural energy reserves and creates entry points for disease and decay, officials say.

"As many people look toward local and sustainable food practices, it may be tempting to try tapping the maples that line city streets,” says Urban Forestry Specialist Marie Anderson. “But tapping a street tree can drain the stored energy the tree has been saving to leaf out in the spring. Urban trees face a harsh growing environment including drought conditions, compacted soil, limited soil volume and porous soils—so it’s critical we don’t exert additional stresses on them.” So please…do not tap the maple trees!