Everyone knows you can tap maple trees, boil down the sap and make maple syrup. Maple syrup on pancakes is a classic American breakfast. However, few people know that the same is true for other select species of trees. People in the sub-artic have for years tapped birch trees, both boiling the sap to make a sweet syrup and consuming it raw as a health drink. Walnut trees are on that list of those select other species. Members of the Juglans genus, black walnut (Juglans nigra), white walnut or butternut (J. cinerea) and English walnut (J. regia) have all been tapped for syrup production. This walnut syrup primer will get you on either the commercial or the hobbyist path.
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Black Walnut (Juglans nigra) is a tree to consider tapping, and Butternut (Juglans cinerea) has similar characteristics and can produce syrup. When considering tapping, however, it is good to understood that walnut trees and not just maples with compound leaves and big edible nuts. Walnuts have anatomical and physiological characteristics that affect tapping and syrup making.