See more ideas about maple tree, tapping maple trees, maple. The Sycamore sap yield is usually a lot less than nearly every version of maple tree. You’ll insert the spile into the loop on the hook and pound it gently into place using a hammer. Anything under 21″ will only take one tap. Red and silver maple trees will also provide sap, but not as much as the other two species. You have to check the buckets and collect the sap daily â no matter how busy you are or what the weather is like outdoors. A tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter, measured at 4 1/2 feet above the ground, before tapping. A second tap may be added to trees between 20 and 25 inches in diameter. Are you looking for a group of like-minded people that love the heritage way of life?? Refer to the directions that came with your particular spout or spiles to make sure it is positioned properly. Another option, of course, would be to identify the trees in the summer or fall when the leaves are still on the branches. Black maple (Acer nigrum) Black maples produce as much sweet sap as sugar maples. Spiles are necessary for channeling sap out of the tree and into the bucket â¢ Big Tooth Maple â This sap producing maple tree grows primarily in the Rocky Mountains region and in Texas. Keep in mind that it takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce one gallon of syrup. The European, black, river, gray, white, and yellow birch trees can also be tapped, but the sap they each produce is not generally nearly as sweet as the sap that flows from the Paper Birch tree. Sugaring season used to be a tradition. Drill the tapping hole. NECESSARY EQUIPMENT FOR TREE TAPPING. You’ll be glad you did. The maple tree tapping season generally runs for approximately four to six weeks. The size of the drill bit depends on the size of your tap (also known as a spile). You’ve found the trees, you have an idea of the timing. How to Tap Trees for Syrup. Always clean the tree tapping equipment when you put it away after a season and before tapping during a new season. Sugar maple growth rate of course varies depending on many factors, especially on spring and summertime growing conditions. For trees 12-20″ in diameter, you’ll use one spile each. Learn how your comment data is processed. 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. â¢ White Walnut â Sap from the White Walnut (or Butternut Tree) contains the same high percentage of sugar as the Sugar Maple tree. The sweetness of the syrup produced from this tree is comparable to that of a Sugar Maple tree, even though it is churned out in less abundance. Any kind of maple tree can be tapped, but the best sap comes from sugar maples, tapped in spring. Hard maple varieties begin letting loose of their seeds usually in either the late summer or early autumn. 1. The amount of sap that flows from this variety of walnut tree is also often comparable to the yield from the Sugar Maple tree. Most tappers recommend drilling the tapping hole on the southern facing side of the tree, beneath a large branch. â¢ Paper Birch â This type of birch tree has a 1% sugar count and is among a favorite for tappers who expand their efforts beyond the maple variety. Wife, mama to three awesome farm girls, and passionate about helping others ditch the status quo to live more self sufficient lives, no matter where they live. Some of the reviews on this site may be compensated by the companies whose products were reviewed. â¢ Black â This maple tree generally offers the highest production of sap each season. If you have an abundance of trees that you can utilize for tapping, you should absolutely try this rewarding experience. When the tree being tapped is between 20 to 27 inches in diameter, you may need to use two taps to capture all of the sap. Most tappers recommend drilling the tapping hole on the southern facing side of the tree, beneath a large branch. For huge trees above 27 inches in diameter, use three taps when collecting sap. While the syrup is very tasty, the Red Maple tree creates less sap than either the Black or the Sugar Maple tree varieties. Typically, this variety of maple tree will have a more watery or thinner sap and a low sugar content. â¢ For best results, use or process the sap within one week of collection. 2. The leaves from hard maple trees are usually dark green with smooth points. Make sure that the size of your drill bit matches up with the tap, also known as a spile, for a snug fit. â¢ Sap Hydrometer â These optional gadgets are handy to have if you are interested in learning the sugar content in your sap before cooking it. Look for a maple tree that is at least 12 inches in diameter and has a lot of direct sunlight. Hard maple tree varieties like the black, rocky, and sugar maple, typically produce the highest sap content. As a child I experimented with tapping maple trees in Ontario Canada – usually during the first week of March. Buckets and lids. 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. â¢ Black Walnut â This tree produces not only delicious nuts, but a tasty sap as well. 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. Typically, trees are prime for tapping between the middle of February through mid-March. Trees between 10 and 20 inches in diameter should have no more than one tap per tree. Tapping buckets must have a firm fitting lid. Bags manufactured specifically for tree tapping are gaining popularity with some tappers because they are lightweight and easier to pack when full or during hikes that are either lengthy or over rugged terrainâ¦ or both. If you hit dark brown again, it may not be worth your time and effort to try to tap the tree. Why tap a maple tree? Find a maple tree. It will be a clear liquid that does not look all that much different from water. The equipment you will need to tap about 10 trees should not cost your most than $50, depending upon the prices at the local or online store you shop. Hammer. 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. Make sure the tree is on your property! Ideally, you will want to put the spile above a big root or below a big branch to get the most sap out of the tree. You’ll want to drill at a slight angle to facilitate the downward flow of sap. Keep checking until the sap stops flowing and then you can turn the sap into syrup. This doesn’t require anything fancy, just a few things and you’ll have sap flowing. Once you drill your hole, you’ll need to pound your spile into the tree. The bark on soft maple tree varieties feature bark that can best be described as flaky, and comprised of layers in a lighter shade of gray, usually. Hopefully, its Acer saccharum (sugar maple), if not you’ll need even more sap. For every increase of 2″ in diameter, you can add another tap. You’ll need: Cordless Drill and bit. For trees 21-27″ in diameter, you’ll use two taps. The exact time to start and stop tapping trees for maple syrup depends largely on where you live. First off, you can tap many deciduous trees for sap. Drill a hole about 1.5 inches into the tree – slightly uphill – so the sap will run down. 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. above photo shows silver maple tree leaves. That means you’re going to need some supplies. Note: when done properly, tapping won’t harm your tree, and the hole you make will heal up nicely on its own. â¢ The amount of sap you get in your buckets in a single day will vary based upon fluctuations in temperature. You could also get a maple tapping starter kit that has all of the specialty things you will need. This are your “taps”. Basically what we’re using is just this orange actually it’s red bailing twine and we’re just going to take it and we’re going to identify a maple tree. We’ll be tapping birch trees this year as well, but it takes many more birches to get the same amount of 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. For the safest type of consumption, always boil the sap to destroy any bad bacteria that could be growing inside. And if the shavings are a dark brown when you drill into it, pick a different spot (the shavings should be light brown). You will take your drill and drill to the depth required by your spile, about 2 to 2 1/2″ deep. Tara lives on a 56 acres farm in the Appalachian Mountains, where she faces homesteading and farming challenges every single day. â¢ Big Leaf â These maple trees are routinely found growing abundantly from California all the way up to British Columbia. Never tap a maple tree that is smaller than 10 inches/25 cm in diameter. You can also get pre-made tree sapping kits on Amazon. This will then translate into a small amount of maple syrup per tree. You tap maple trees in the spring when the temperatures are getting warmer. Insert the spout after cleaning out the drilled hole of all shaving. Soft maple varieties tend to drop their seeds in either the early days of summer, or the final weeks of spring. 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. If you’re only placing one tap, you will want it on the south side of the tree. 2. Generally, a single tree can be tapped up to three times before you have to move on to another one. You will want to use a bit about the same diameter as your spile (typically 5/16″ or 7/16″ ). 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. The tree should be at least 10 inches in diameter before it can be tapped. How to Tap a Maple Tree for Syrup & Sugar Production. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. 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. Whether you have 10 trees or 10,000 the process is basically the same: tap your trees, collect the sap, and boil it down until it’s reduced down to maple syrup. Simply hang your bucket and lid and move on to the next tree. You can, however, tap any maple tree. Maple trees with a lower sap content, like the silver or red varieties, typically take longer to bring to a boil â a crucial part of the syrup creation process. You might be hiking out to your trees up to your ankles in mud with rain pouring heavily upon your shoulders, but the sap buckets must be check and poured into a storage container. 3. You want your spile to fit tightly. Join our facebook group of over 13,000 like-minded individuals, where we learn about growing a garden, cooking a meal, and living life like our grandparents did. 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. The dimensions of the drill bit will depend both on the size of the tree and the spout being used to collect sap. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. 4. This site may earn commissions when you click on certain links. It has bark that is dark gray in color. Trees are best tapped when the temperature is warm during the day and cold at night. The Sugar Maple grows in significant numbers in USDA zones 4 through 8. Maple trees have what we dubbed âhelicoptersâ when growing up. The south side of trees generally get the most sun, making them the warmest side, and the side where sap flow will be the best. The hook on the spout should be facing outward. â¢ Sugar â This is the âgo toâ tree for tapping. The differences are subtle, and the species has less to do with the … In the fall, you probably ooh and aah at the beautiful red, orange, and yellow shades the leaves from these trees turn each October. Required fields are marked *. This variety of maple tree does not produce as much sap as the Sugar Maple, but is often considered just as sweet. Sap will flow from this tree only when evening temperatures are firmly below the freezing level for at least one week. If you have an abundance of trees that you can utilize for tapping, you should absolutely try this rewarding experience. Copyright © 2020 The Rustic Elk â¢all rights reservedâ¢. The hole should be drilled at a slight upward angle to a depth of about 3 inches. If you’ve tapped the tree in previous years, do not tap within 6″ of the previous holes. 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 season usually lasts about a month to a month and a half is all and the most sap will flow earliest in the season. Trimming maple trees involves pruning out diseased or broken branches at least 6 inches into healthy wood. If the tree has a big âcrownâ or lots of full and sturdy branches in its mid-section, it might be a great sap producer. I hope you have warm days and cold nights for good runs. Scrub the equipment with a firm brush and rinse, at least two to three times, with very hot water and allow them to air dry fully before storage or use. Unless you purchase a maple sugar starter kit like this one. â¢ Some folks love to drink the sap right after it flows from the tree, this is not recommended! You’ll want to check your buckets daily and empty any collected sap. If you’re placing more than one, you’ll want to divide them around the circumference of the tree. 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 it’s a little more narrow, that’s ok, too. I can’t tell from the picture. Tap the SOUTH side of the tree. 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. You’ll be mighty disappointed if you don’t have a way to hang them. Join The Self Sufficient Life group here. Trees over 25 inches in diameter can sustain three taps. You’ll want to check your buckets daily and empty any collected sap. Sugar maples provide the most sap while silver maples, black and even red can also be utilized and provide sugar. To tap the tree, drill a hole about into the trunk of the tree, either above a large root or below a large branch on the south side of the tree. These are, of course, to capture the sap. They make these in metal and even plastic. If the maple tree measures 8”-18” one tap can be made in the tree. â¢ Sycamore â Sap from this tree has a yummy butterscotch flavor. Want to branch out from maple? Hey there! Hang your bucket or bag on the tree â this is usually done by hanging it onto the hook facing outward on the spout, but not all spouts and spiles come with a hook. The sugar and syrup produced from this variety is incredibly sweet and delicious. 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. 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. How to Tap Trees Drill a hole in a tree, 2 - 4 feet above the ground. Hooks. Buds begin to appear on the Silver Maple tree early in the year, before prime tapping temperatures present and sustain themselves, in many regions. Native American tribes who lived in this region often tapped the Big Leaf Maple tree for syrup and sugar making purposes. You can run it through a cheesecloth or similar to remove any impurities that found their way in. â¢ Spouts â some tappers and stores refer to the spouts as spiles. If the tree measures 18”-24” two taps can be installed in the tree if the tree has a diameter greater than 24” then 3 taps can be installed in the tree. How to tap your tree. 3. plink! How to tap a maple tree This blog comes from Cathy Entwhistle, a Senior Park Interpreter at Bronte Creek Provincial Park. Hard maple tree leaves often appear to boast a âUâ shape, and soft maple tree leaves have a shape than looks more like a âVâ shape. Many tappers simply make their own simple hooks to hang the sap collection buckets or bags upon or use a spout that comes with a hook attached for the bucket. Hold the drill and drill bit at a slight angle, pointing upwards. Keep checking until the sap stops flowing and then you can turn the sap into syrup. The bark on hard maple tree varieties is typically filled with deep and narrow furrows. Some days, your buckets might be almost overflowing when you hike out to check them, but other days you might find only a very small amount of sap in the bottom of the bucket or bag. What species of maple tree is it? Do not pound it, this will split the wood. Tapping the trees may seem overwhelming at first, but it’s actually the easiest part of making syrup! Tap in the spout good and snug – … The goal of Tap My Trees is to promote tapping maple trees by families at … â¢ Use tree tapping pouches like the ones in the photo below to keep debris and other impurities away from your sap. If you delay and let the sap sit in a bucket overnight it will likely freeze and have to be pitched. The hole drilled should be between 2 to 2.5 inches deep. Its sugar content is approximately 2.0%. To boil sap, bring it to a full and rolling boil, and hold it there for about one minute, before turning off the heat. Tap My Trees is the #1 supplier of maple sugaring supplies for the hobbyist. You need to make sure you’re ready. We are enrolled in the Amazon Associates program, so we may earn a commission if you purchase something from Amazon after clicking one of our links. Thankfully, you can still purchase aluminum sap buckets and lids on Amazon or even at your local farm store. Everyone would go out around late February into March and tap maples for syrup. Typically, a 7/16 or 5/16 drill bit will work for most spouts and trees. Copyright © 2020 the Rustic Elk â¢all rights reservedâ¢ has bark that is smaller 10... 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