Did you know?

You can tap any type of maple tree?

All maple trees produce sugar, the best are Sugar Maples that produce a sap that is 2% sugar, but you can tap Silver, Red and Black Maple trees!

  There are mainly two ways to collect sap from a maple tree.

The first and oldest method is to hang buckets on each tree.  Many producers still collect their sap this way.  This is a very labor intensive way.  Every time you have a run you need to go to every tree and empty the sap bucket. 

 Remember that the sap runs in early spring, right when the snow is melting and the ground is getting very soft. This is where the nickname "Mud Season" came from!  It also takes a lot of time to carry all the buckets and spiles out into the woods and bring them back in after it is over!  These producers usually have a tractor or horse drawn collection tank that they empty the buckets into to take back to the sugar shack.  

The newest method to collecting sap is a plastic tubing system.  This is the only way we collect our sap.  This method consists of a system of tubing that runs through the woods that is all connected together to carry all the sap to one central storage tank.  

Here we have a 1" mainline running through the middle of the woods. From that there are 3/4" lines and 5/16" lateral lines running to each tree.  

On a tubing system you have one or more "mainlines" that run through the middle of the sugar bush.  These line are anywhere between 1/2" to 1 1/2" depending on the number of taps on the line.    From the mainlines come branch or lateral lines. These lines are a 5/16" line that runs from tree to tree.  You try to maintain as much downhill pitch to the lines as possible.  Off of the branch lines come the tap lines.  The lines are fitted with a spout or spile at the end that goes into the tree where you drill the hole. 

                                            BACK   NEXT