Maple syrup retapping

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Vic99, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. Vic99

    Vic99
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    Tapped 7 sugar maples for the first time for sap to boil down to syrup. After a few broken drill bits, spills and burns, I got an 8 ounce yield which is the perfect viscosity and sweetness. Very happy.

    We have ~5 days of temperatures worth of production, then a cold spell. When the temps rise again will it harm the tree to retap if no sap flows? If so, is it better to bore 1/4-1/2 inch deeper in the same hole or create a new hole? Obviously I don't want to weaken the tree. Thanks.
     

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  2. maple1

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    You only tap once - don't retap. Just leave it in until the season is done.
     
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  3. peakbagger

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  4. Vic99

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    Interesting, Peak. My first question would be, can you get enough sap from a small tree without killing it to make it worth your time?
     
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  5. peakbagger

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    I am short on details, I think the assumption is that the trees are disposable.
     
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  6. maple1

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    First time I've seen that article. I don't really think that's a revelation - we've seen trees with winter-broken tops run before. Actually, if you walk through the woods when the sap is running after there's been a bad ice storm that winter, it can be almost like light rain from broken tips - if there was ice damage. I'm not sure what they're getting at with using planted trees though - from what I read it sounded like you cut the top off them, get a seasons worth of sap out of them - but then they're dead. And maple is pretty slow growing.

    You can stunt growth if you tap them too small - should try to stay to 10" diameter and over.
     
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  7. arbutus

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    Interesting article, but I didn't see a mention of the sugar content and total seasonal sugar output between the mature trees and cut off whips.

    A broken maple whip might make a handy yard hydrant, but I would be extremely surprised if total sugar content delivered in a season by the whip and a mature tree is anywhere close.
     
  8. Vic99

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    Imagine how many saplings you'd have to kill to make it worth while. Just seems like the actual collection would require too much effort.

    Obviously, though, it is interesting that sap flow at least somewhat differently that what people has always thought.
     
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  9. bmblank

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    I've always been told sap runs upwards. The way I understood it, when it gets cold (below freezing) the sap runs into the ground. When it warms up the sap runs up into the tree. The more heat cycling you get in a spring, the more sap you get.
     
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  10. peakbagger

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    The complete article is in Northern Woodlands, the authors suggested that coppicing a tree and then tapping a different stem a year might be the ticket.
     
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