Maple syrup producers tap into Crown land

A maple syrup producer in northeastern Ontario says having access to trees on Crown land is good for business.

Access to Crown forests helps Sudbury area maple syrup maker increase production

Some maple syrup producers have to look beyond their own properties for more trees to tap 1:09

A maple syrup producer in northeastern Ontario says having access to trees on Crown land is good for business.

Dan Seguin's sap runs from thickets of maple trees found on 170 acres of Crown land.

"For us on the size that we operate on, Crown land was basically our only option," he said.

"In the West Nipissing area, French River area, to obtain land that is all hardwood that hasn't been cut already, the option wouldn't be there."

The Ministry of Natural Resources reports there are more than 50 producers tapping on Crown land in northeastern Ontario.

The Seguin's maple trees in the Sudbury area are connected by a series of pipes — each of which is fed by a smaller tube that is linked into the tree. The Ministry of Natural Resources says maple sap harvesters can't tap any tree under 10 inches in diameter. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

Seguin, who owns a sugar bush near Lavigne, said he's expecting to tap more than 7,000 maple trees this year and pays 50 cents per tap, as well as land taxes.

He also has to obtain a land-use permit from the MNR every five to 10 years.


Seguin and his family have been tapping maple trees in the area for more than 50 years. They transform the sap in various products like maple syrup, maple butter and maple sugar.

"Some people have shown interest in it, there's been a lull in the forestry sector and there's a lot less cutting," he said.

"To me, it just makes a whole pile of sense if you can put those trees to use by producing maple syrup."

He also noted it’s a good source of revenue for the ministry and, "it's something where there are no management fees attached to it, so it's a win-win for all of us."

A spokesperson with the northeast MNR office said there can also be restrictions on where people can tap.

"For example, if it's land belonging to First Nations," Karen Passmore said. "Or if the land that they're interested in tapping is being harvested by a timber company."

There are more than 50 cases of people tapping on Crown land in the region, she added.

Ontario only produces 15 per cent of the syrup it consumes, the rest comes from Quebec.