A bottle of maple syrup produced at Pack Forest. Kiyomi Taguchi / University of Washington

For many, the idea of maple syrup production evokes images of snowy forests in Vermont and Canada. But one UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences researcher wondered, why not the Pacific Northwest?

And two years later, a delicious outcome has been tapped.

Thanks to funding from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 2019, Indroneil Ganguly, Associate Professor and Researcher, launched a project to study whether maple syrup could be produced on a large scale from from big leaf maple trees in the Riparian Zones of Washington’s forests. This was one of the largest research awards SEFS received that year.

Most people don’t realize that maple syrup can be produced from the bigleaf maple trees located on the west coast. Ganguly’s project aims to determine the best practices to facilitate the development of a commercial maple syrup industry in the Pacific Northwest. Maple syrup hobbyists are well aware of this, but this study is examining whether farmers and forest landowners could benefit from large-scale maple syrup production in the Pacific Northwest.

“We are on the cusp of a really, really big maple syrup industry in the Pacific Northwest,” Ganguly told UW News for a recent story.

View the full UW News story on how the project is going and whether Pacific Northwest maple syrup may soon be on breakfast tables. Q13 Fox Seattle also shared the story via news video.