1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Maple syrup retapping

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

  1. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    MA, Suburb of Lowell
    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.

    Attached Files:

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,162
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    You only tap once - don't retap. Just leave it in until the season is done.
  3. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    Northern NH
  4. Vic99

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    MA, Suburb of Lowell
    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?
  5. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    I am short on details, I think the assumption is that the trees are disposable.
  6. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2011
    Messages:
    4,162
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    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.
  7. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    297
    Loc:
    Michigan UP

    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

    Vic99 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2006
    Messages:
    842
    Loc:
    MA, Suburb of Lowell
    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.
  9. bmblank

    bmblank Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2013
    Messages:
    698
    Loc:
    Michigan
    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.
  10. peakbagger

    peakbagger Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,671
    Loc:
    Northern NH
    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.

Share This Page