is the traditional fuel for maple syrup production. One advantage
of wood is that it is readily available because of sugar bush management
activities like tree thinning and diseased tree removal.
Wood also creates
an atmosphere that many producers feel is part of the perfect overall
experience. However, most wood-fired evaporators are not as efficient
as those using oil, gas, or other types of fuel.
One full cord of wood is
required to produce approximately 25 gallons of syrup (and boil off
about 1,000 gallons of water). A cord of wood is 4 feet wide, 4 feet
tall, and 8 feet long - or 128 cubic feet.
Since the 1950s, oil has
increasingly been used as a fuel source for sugar house evaporators.
Because wood needs to be cut and collected, and because wood fires
need constant maintenance, oil heat is less labor-intensive than wood
house oil furnace
Oil also provides a more
constant, uniform heat source than wood fires, and oil heat can be
quickly shut down if adjustments to sap flow are necessary or if safety
However, oil fuel does
not allow for the use of wood from the sugar bush, and requires expensive
and complicated equipment