The maximum is 4 taps per tree because you don’t want to stress the tree too much. Hey there! When you start tapping, you’re actually drilling a hole into the trunk of the tree with a power drill. You want to hit the xylem or sapwood of the tree. â¢ Red â Sap from this maple tree contains about a 1.7% sugar content. If the sap is flowing, you should immediately see sap dripping from the spile. These are, of course, to capture the sap. 3. The tell-tale sign that it’s time for tapping is when the daytime temps rise above freezing, but the nighttime temps dip back down below freezing. It will be a clear liquid that does not look all that much different from water. You’ll insert the spile into the loop on the hook and pound it gently into place using a hammer. The bark on hard maple tree varieties is typically filled with deep and narrow furrows. â¢ The sap must be stored at a temperature of 38F or colder for best results. I hope you have warm days and cold nights for good runs. The height of your spile should be comfortable for you. Keep checking until the sap stops flowing and then you can turn the sap into syrup. 7. plink! Look for unblemished bark and don’t bore too close to an older tap-hole. The time has come. If the tree has damage, avoid those spots. The trees, maple and otherwise, that have average to above average sunlight exposure usually produce the most sap. Unless you purchase a maple sugar starter kit like this one. You’ll need: Cordless Drill and bit. 1. Do not hammer the spile Why tap a maple tree? Hooks. Your email address will not be published. â¢ Big Leaf â These maple trees are routinely found growing abundantly from California all the way up to British Columbia. To boil sap, bring it to a full and rolling boil, and hold it there for about one minute, before turning off the heat. We’ll be tapping birch trees this year as well, but it takes many more birches to get the same amount of syrup. The maple tree tapping season generally runs for approximately four to six weeks. â¢ Tree tapping is a lot of work. The tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter before it can be tapped. You tap maple trees in the spring when the temperatures are getting warmer. â¢ Filtering Material â You can buy sap filters, but cheesecloth will do the trick just fine. Native American tribes who lived in this region often tapped the Big Leaf Maple tree for syrup and sugar making purposes. How to tap a maple tree This blog comes from Cathy Entwhistle, a Senior Park Interpreter at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Typically the time is around late February to mid-March. The tree needs some of that sap to produce buds and leaves. her homesteading skills are unmatched, she raises chickens, goats, horses, a wide variety of vegetables, not to mention she’s an expert is all sorts of homesteading skills such as hide tanning, doll making, tree tapping and many, many more. If itâs light brown or beige, the tree is most likely healthy and you have selected a good spot to garner sap. You’ll want to check your buckets daily and empty any collected sap. â¢ Big Tooth Maple â This sap producing maple tree grows primarily in the Rocky Mountains region and in Texas. It is vital to remember that a tree is a living thing, even when it is sleeping all winter long, and that it can (and will) heal itself. The goal of Tap My Trees is to promote tapping maple trees by families at … How to Tap Trees for Syrup. You could use any bucket you want, but the ones made specifically for tapping have a hole on their rims for the hook to slide through. 4. Keep in mind that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. We don’t like plastic. â¢ Sycamore â Sap from this tree has a yummy butterscotch flavor. â¢ Buckets or Bags â Traditional tappers use buckets that can be hung on or above the spout and onto the tree to collect sap. Wasting time is definitely not something homesteaders like to do! Since the leaves can’t help you identify the species this time of year, you’ll want to get a winter field guide like this one to identify which are maples if you aren’t familiar with the characteristics. Are you looking for a group of like-minded people that love the heritage way of life?? Its sugar content is approximately 2.0%. Tapping the trees may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually the easiest part of making syrup! This task is fairly easy. If you have not taken a hike around your homestead and mapped out all the types of maple trees you have on hand to tap, pull on your boots and do so quickly, before the prime part of tapping season has passed. The seedlings growing on them not only resemble the propellers of a helicopter, but âflyâ away from the tree and start to grow just about everywhere they land. Black maple (Acer nigrum) Black maples produce as much sweet sap as sugar maples. Copyright © 2020 The Rustic Elk â¢all rights reservedâ¢. Want to branch out from maple? The sap from maple and most other tappable trees begins to flow when the temperature during the daytime is consistently above freezing, and when evening temperatures still hover at or below 32 degrees. A strong and healthy tree can be tapped multiple times over several seasons. But, that doesn’t mean the process isn’t worthwhile. For the safest type of consumption, always boil the sap to destroy any bad bacteria that could be growing inside. If you’ve tapped the tree in previous years, do not tap within 6″ of the previous holes. The amount of sap that flows from this variety of walnut tree is also often comparable to the yield from the Sugar Maple tree. How to Tap Trees Drill a hole in a tree, 2 - 4 feet above the ground. This site may earn commissions when you click on certain links. A lot of times you will tap a tree that you think is a maple tree going to find out that there’s no SAP the reason why there’s no SAP is that it’s probably not a maple. First off, you can tap many deciduous trees for sap. Learn how your comment data is processed. Typically, the sap flows best with these fluctuations in temperature. The trees closely resemble sugar maples and can be distinguished by their leaves. This variety of maple tree does not produce as much sap as the Sugar Maple, but is often considered just as sweet. Gently tap the spile into the tree with a hammer (do not pound the spile into the tree, as this may cause the wood to split). Refer to the directions that came with your particular spout or spiles to make sure it is positioned properly. Drill a level, horizontal 2’’ deep hole at a convenient height. Sugaring season used to be a tradition. Just when the weather starts the warm, but the ground is still snow covered and cold… that’s the perfect time for tapping trees for sap you can boil into syrup. The flow lasts about 5 weeks. You’ll want to make sure that your trees are a minimum of 12 inches in diameter (indicating they are mature) and of course, healthy. The sweetest and best sap is usually produced during the early days and weeks of the season. You will take your drill and drill to the depth required by your spile, about 2 to 2 1/2″ deep. When to Tap Maple Trees for Sap. Drill a hole about 1-1/2″ – 2″ into the tree at an slight upward angle. Using a single tap could overtax the tree and could affect its health. If you use a bucket not manufactured for tapping trees, make sure it is a clean food-grade container that is capable of holding 5 gallons of sap. If you’re only placing one tap, you will want it on the south side of the tree. You’ll want to drill your tap hole on the south-facing side of the tree. The hole drilled should be between 2 to 2.5 inches deep. Buds begin to appear on the Silver Maple tree early in the year, before prime tapping temperatures present and sustain themselves, in many regions. So, if you’re placing two put one on the south side and one on the north. Inspect the shaving churned out while drilling the tapping hole. â¢ Use tree tapping pouches like the ones in the photo below to keep debris and other impurities away from your sap. As a child I experimented with tapping maple trees in Ontario Canada – usually during the first week of March. Their leaves are either silver or white on the bottom, and boast a more pointy shape than the leaves from hard maple tree varieties. The hole should be drilled at a slight upward angle to a depth of about 3 inches. The sap turned into syrup from this tree is typically deemed just as sweet as the sap created by the Sugar Maple tree â and there is usually about twice as much of it. When you tap a tree in the spring, it is the equivalent to a human getting a small cut, which will will slowly scar over to stop the loss of bodily fluids. Your email address will not be published. How to tap your tree. But, if you didn’t plan in advance, not all hope is lost. Use a hammer to lightly tap the spile into the hole. Hard maple tree varieties like the black, rocky, and sugar maple, typically produce the highest sap content. If your spiles do not come with hooks (the ones I linked above do), you’ll want to make sure you buy hooks for your buckets. Trees over 25 inches in diameter can sustain three taps. It is best to distribute the tapping holes around the tree’s circumference when putting in a new season holes or making multiple tapping holes on a large tree for the first time. 2. Hammer. See more ideas about maple tree, tapping maple trees, maple. Spiles are necessary for channeling sap out of the tree and into the bucket If you hit dark brown again, it may not be worth your time and effort to try to tap the tree. Tapping maple trees can be a fun, rewarding experience. Hard maple varieties begin letting loose of their seeds usually in either the late summer or early autumn. You want your spile to fit tightly. No maple trees on your homestead? If the tree shavings have a dark brown hue, you have probably discovered a bad spot in the tree and need to locate the sap collection hole in another location on the same tree. stay above freezing and leaf buds appear, the maple syrup season is over. â¢ White Walnut â Sap from the White Walnut (or Butternut Tree) contains the same high percentage of sugar as the Sugar Maple tree. I’m Danielle. You can run it through a cheesecloth or similar to remove any impurities that found their way in. If you have an abundance of trees that you can utilize for tapping, you should absolutely try this rewarding experience. Typically, this variety of maple tree will have a more watery or thinner sap and a low sugar content. â¢ If this is your first time tapping a tree for syrup, do not be startled by the color of the fluid running out of the tree. â¢ English Walnut â If you have purchased walnuts to bake with or simply to munch upon from your local grocery store, they probably came from this variety of tree. 5. You can also get pre-made tree sapping kits on Amazon. If it’s a little more narrow, that’s ok, too. You can run it through a cheesecloth or similar to remove any impurities that found their way in. A tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter, measured at 4 1/2 feet above the ground, before tapping. I can’t tell from the picture. You’ll want to locate the trees you plan to use and use the guidelines above for how many taps to put into each tree. Lightly tap the spile into the hole. How to Tap Maple Trees. And if the shavings are a dark brown when you drill into it, pick a different spot (the shavings should be light brown). For any tree 27″ or larger in diameter, it will take three. You could also get a maple tapping starter kit that has all of the specialty things you will need. If you’re placing more than one, you’ll want to divide them around the circumference of the tree. We’re growing our own food, cooking from scratch and taking steps toward self sufficient living on just an acre, and I think you can, too. It is the combination of the chilly night time temperatures and the warm daytime temperatures that causes the sap to flow both easily and fairly rapidly, from the trees. In the fall, you probably ooh and aah at the beautiful red, orange, and yellow shades the leaves from these trees turn each October. â¢ Spouts â some tappers and stores refer to the spouts as spiles. 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Sugaring supplies for the hobbyist tapping starter kit that has all of the,... Â¢All rights reservedâ¢ the photo below to keep debris and other impurities away from sap... Than one tap can be tapped Crack Chicken Recipe in Pressure Cooker much different from.... Would go out around late February into March and tap maples for syrup sap you... ’ ll want to check your buckets in a bucket overnight it will likely freeze and have to be.! Away after a season and before tapping during a new season provide,... Trees is the # 1 supplier of maple syrup this warming temps create within. The summer most common trees used are sugar maples all hope is lost three when! An activity the whole family can enjoy on hard maple tree how to tap a maple tree supplies and other impurities from! Tap ( also known as a spile ) should be at least 3 feet from the.... © 2020 the Rustic Elk â¢all rights reservedâ¢ any link is an affiliate link per season the stem. Sugaring, the tree at an slight upward angle to facilitate the downward flow of sap each season create. Is most likely healthy and you ’ ll need a drill above the ground brown,! Effort to try to tap, gently now, the spout being used collect.
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