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Grizzlyman
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02/26/2021 01:30PM  
Anyone tappin’ yet??

We’re going for a personal best this year with 16 taps at our house and our neighbors! Just put them in yesterday in the twin cities. Got a few gallons already!
 
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JimmyJustice
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02/26/2021 01:37PM  

Just got this pix today of a buddy's neighbor.
 
CRL
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02/26/2021 04:22PM  
My 8th and 9th grade students and I tapped 15 trees between yesterday and today. One had a slight bit of sap from yesterday. Probably one of my favorite projects I do with them!! Ratios and proportions really do have real world meaning!
 
02/26/2021 04:41PM  
I'm intrigued. I have several maples on my property but I'm not sure what kind they are. Does it matter? How do you process the sap?
 
02/26/2021 06:06PM  
I was down across the state line today west of Rockton and somebody had a whole bunch of pails out in a section of woods. First I've seen.
 
Grizzlyman
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02/26/2021 06:34PM  
okinaw55: "I'm intrigued. I have several maples on my property but I'm not sure what kind they are. Does it matter? How do you process the sap?"

No. They’re varying degrees of which are better but they will all produce.

Simply boil the sap until it’s thick!
 
Speckled
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02/27/2021 11:47AM  
Grizzlyman: "okinaw55: "I'm intrigued. I have several maples on my property but I'm not sure what kind they are. Does it matter? How do you process the sap?"


No. They’re varying degrees of which are better but they will all produce.


Simply boil the sap until it’s thick!"


Do a quick google search on how to tell when to stop. I use a candy thermometer. If you stop boiling too early it can spoil, too late and it can crystalize.

It's not difficult at all, collect the sap, keep it cool, it should be clear and not milky and when ready boil it down to syrup.
 
OCDave
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02/27/2021 05:42PM  
okinaw55: "I'm intrigued. I have several maples on my property but I'm not sure what kind they are. Does it matter? How do you process the sap?"

The species of maple matters with respect to sugar/ sap ratio. Higher sugar content (Sugar maple) might yield Syrup at 1 gallon of syrup per 30 gallons of sap, another species might require 40 gallons of sap to yield the same gallon of syrup.

Sapping supplies are widely available.
A bag , a bag holder , and a spile will get you started.

I collect 60-100 gallons of sap each spring. My kids love the experience
Good Luck
 
yogi59weedr
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02/27/2021 08:39PM  
Tapped 3 in front yard today.#4 tomorrow when I'm sure neighbor says ok. 50s here in nw Illinois on Wednesday... should start to gush soon
 
MacCamper
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02/27/2021 08:45PM  
Tapped two dozen trees today. Earliest run I have ever experienced. Lots of movement on a beautiful day.
 
02/28/2021 11:15AM  
Southern half of Minnesota a few people have started.
 
JimmyJustice
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02/28/2021 12:01PM  
Tapped 5 trees today. 2 trees were running very well and 2 were dry. It will be interesting to see how they all do and when they all run. I wonder if the tees were also fooled by the unseasonably cool weather we had in February. All but one of the trees I tapped were old, large maples. They were not budding yet, but the younger one (8-10 yrs old) had red new growth and some buds. Interestingly, that was one of the dry ones.

Weather forecast this week just a few minutes south of MPLS is to be 40's during the day and teens/low 20's at night. Lots of sun. Warming as the week progresses. In theory it should be flowing! Now just need to find 4 more trees and I should be set.
 
03/01/2021 08:31PM  
Tappin' in Ham Lake, MN! Got 4 trees, which is usually good for a couple gallons of finished syrup a year. Perfect activity to break out of the winter frame of mind. This upcoming week should be great with temps >32 in the day time and <32 at night.
 
Canoearoo
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03/03/2021 04:31PM  
We put in 40 taps on Sunday and the trees are going strong today
 
Grizzlyman
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03/05/2021 06:35AM  
Been a good few days! I’ve collected about 50 gallons thus far... and it’s only March 5th!
 
JimmyJustice
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03/05/2021 07:39AM  
I pulled 3 taps from trees not producing...no clue as to why. They are probably oak trees disguised as maples in an effort to get back at Geddy Lee. So down to 7 trees and 9 taps. 20+ gallons 4 1/2 days. Very happy with that. Going to cook down whatever we have on Sunday. Slated to be 60 degrees midday on Sunday...will be a real chore to be outside all day!
 
outsidethebox
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03/06/2021 07:16AM  
Miss our lovely little place just north of Indy-down the lane in the middle of a sugar maple grove. I would start tapping around the new year-after a good cold snap. The best sap was the early stuff. We usually made around 10 gallons of syrup. Makes a great gift for friends and family. The best salad dressing in the world is a maple syrup vinaigrette-also a super marinade for chicken and pork :)
 
03/06/2021 09:09AM  
A buddy of mine put out 40 taps on my property by Detroit Lakes, it is already starting to flow as of 3/4/21.
 
nofish
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03/07/2021 09:24AM  
I took the family out to a ymca camp to learn about tapping trees. We did several whilee we were there and the sap was pouring out and a good clip.

I got home and started thinking of tapping my 2 huge silver maples. However, I read that once they start forming leaf buds that saps isn't as good. Anyone know any truth to that? My trees are forming leaf buds already so don't want to do all the work and buy all the supplies if I'm too late.
 
03/07/2021 10:57AM  
nofish: "I took the family out to a ymca camp to learn about tapping trees. We did several whilee we were there and the sap was pouring out and a good clip.


I got home and started thinking of tapping my 2 huge silver maples. However, I read that once they start forming leaf buds that saps isn't as good. Anyone know any truth to that? My trees are forming leaf buds already so don't want to do all the work and buy all the supplies if I'm too late. "




Typically true... sap gets cloudier and can be rancid. Earlier the better, but yesterday we boiled and boiled. And thirty gallons of sap only yielded 1/2ish gallon and haven’t finished yet. So hoping for better sugar content today.
 
03/07/2021 11:26AM  
Brainerd area people are really tapping and talking maybe 60 degrees F. by Tuesday.
This last few year people tapping trees has went up 5 fold in my area.
 
Savage Voyageur
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03/07/2021 12:05PM  
I miss doing this every year. I only have basswood trees.
 
03/07/2021 12:18PM  
Savage Voyageur: "I miss doing this every year. I only have basswood trees. "

It is a great past time. I see the equipment some are buying and they could buy maple syrup for 500 years what money they put in it. But for most it is not about saving money.
 
Grizzlyman
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03/07/2021 02:38PM  
nofish: "I took the family out to a ymca camp to learn about tapping trees. We did several whilee we were there and the sap was pouring out and a good clip.


I got home and started thinking of tapping my 2 huge silver maples. However, I read that once they start forming leaf buds that saps isn't as good. Anyone know any truth to that? My trees are forming leaf buds already so don't want to do all the work and buy all the supplies if I'm too late. "


Yes- but a common misconception is that maples trees are budding when They’re actually blossoming. I tap a number of silver maples and If you watch silver maples especially- they will start to blossom mid to late February as they “wake up”. Budding is still usually a few weeks from now if not In April. I believe all maple trees do this but silver maples larger blossoms and sooner.

It’s not too late to start right now. You’ll have another 2 weeks at least!

 
Banksiana
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03/07/2021 03:45PM  
Savage Voyageur: "I miss doing this every year. I only have basswood trees. "

Then tap basswood! Other tree syrups.
 
JimmyJustice
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03/08/2021 12:34PM  
Did some boiling yesterday. Ran through roughly 25 gallons of sap and ended up with about a gallon of syrup. Have about 40 more gallons to go. We pulled the taps today because we will not have time to cook it all down if we didn't. The sugar content of the first batch was pretty high and accordingly our sap/syrup ratio was lower than normal, amounting in more syrup than anticipated. I would not expect that to continue. With mostly the same trees as last year (2 new ones) we were at about +35:1 ratio and when we are all done, I think we will be closer to that than yesterday's +25:1 ratio.
 
03/08/2021 06:59PM  
We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.

Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there!
 
03/09/2021 05:05AM  
MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.


Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "





Kind of a funny year, trees that normally put out more are either so so or not at all yet where some of my slower trees in the past are showering us with sap. With the up coming weather I’m hoping the guy at the place I’ve bought most of my supplies from in Aitkin is right... rain is gold! And I’d assume it would hold true if it turns to snow.
 
Grizzlyman
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03/09/2021 11:39AM  
nctry: "MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.



Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "
Hey

Kind of a funny year, trees that normally put out more are either so so or not at all yet where some of my slower trees in the past are showering us with sap. With the up coming weather I’m hoping the guy at the place I’ve bought most of my supplies from in Aitkin is right... rain is gold! And I’d assume it would hold true if it turns to snow."


Yeah my silver maples are filling a bag every 2 days. Sugar maples started but have stopped the last few days. Black maple is going strong too. Weird- probably since it hasn’t been below freezing at night??

Regardless- back to typical “flip a coin” March and April weather soon...


 
03/09/2021 12:03PM  
Grizzlyman: "nctry: "MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.



Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "
Hey


Kind of a funny year, trees that normally put out more are either so so or not at all yet where some of my slower trees in the past are showering us with sap. With the up coming weather I’m hoping the guy at the place I’ve bought most of my supplies from in Aitkin is right... rain is gold! And I’d assume it would hold true if it turns to snow."



Yeah my silver maples are filling a bag every 2 days. Sugar maples started but have stopped the last few days. Black maple is going strong too. Weird- probably since it hasn’t been below freezing at night??


Regardless- back to typical “flip a coin” March and April weather soon...



"
Never heard of Black maple-learn something everyday
 
THEGrandRapids
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03/09/2021 06:51PM  
MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.


Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "



The blessing and curse of the sugarer.... "If only I could put more taps out..."
 
03/09/2021 08:50PM  
THEGrandRapids: "MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.



Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "




The blessing and curse of the sugarer.... "If only I could put more taps out...""


Right! Ugh - its killing me to just leave them be, but soon the pond will thaw with these temps and we don't have our (DNR approved) bridge yet, so hauling back umpteen gallons of sap across a slushy pond that could crack at any moment... probably not wise... plus I gotta build up more shoulder muscle to haul all that sap! Ha.
 
LittoralZone
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03/10/2021 09:57AM  
Here in west-central PA:
I tapped 4 red maples in the yard on Feb. 24, and tapped more on the 27th, total of 13 taps. Some trees/days better than others. Got a total of about 20 gallons and stored it all in a small refrigerator in the basement. Boiled my first ever batch the other day, used my neighbor's cooker. Syrup turned out really good, only got a little over a quart though.









I pulled all my taps in the yard the day I boiled and yesterday I tapped more trees in a stand of sugar maples my sister and I got permission to tap, sap was really running. We have almost 30 gallons of sap from those trees in a few of days collecting. We'll going to collect the rest of the week and boil Saturday, then I'm calling it a season.
 
ppine
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03/10/2021 10:57AM  
There is increasing interest in the West in tapping Bigleaf maple.
As a forester I like anything that tastes like a tree. I put maple on everything.

The Greeks make Retsina wine, not for everyone, but I like it.
Alaska Brewing Co makes beer with spruce bud tips. Good stuff if you like trees.
 
Grizzlyman
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03/10/2021 11:02AM  
Work from home means I can boil while working! Boiled Monday and Tuesday. Boiled down about 70 gallons and have got 6 quarts thus far.

 
03/10/2021 11:19AM  
nctry: "MN_Lindsey: "We have 35 taps in and have already done a boil. Yummy!
Such a great activity to bridge winter and spring.



Hiked across my pond to the other side of our land and discovered at least 65-70 more tappable maple trees over there! "






Kind of a funny year, trees that normally put out more are either so so or not at all yet where some of my slower trees in the past are showering us with sap. With the up coming weather I’m hoping the guy at the place I’ve bought most of my supplies from in Aitkin is right... rain is gold! And I’d assume it would hold true if it turns to snow."


I just wonder if the drier summer meant less water in the ground for trees, thus effects sap output?
Also Ben I thought you went to Arizona this winter and would be tapping cactus for sap?
 
Grizzlyman
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03/10/2021 11:41AM  
Pinetree:

I just wonder if the drier summer meant less water in the ground for trees, thus effects sap output?


Not a botanist by Any means- but have researched quite a bit. My understanding is that it’s not a moisture issue as much as it’s a weather issue. Trees need freezing at night and thaw during day to upset their equilibrium and make sap flow. That variation is the engine that makes the sap flow.

I think it’s simply the lack of freezing at night these last few days. My guess is we’ll get flowing again when it starts freezing at night again.

See #4 here. Mass maple FAQ

4. What are the right weather conditions for sap flow?
The tree’s sap flow mechanisms depend on temperatures which alternate back and forth past the freezing point (32 degrees F.). The best sap flows come when nighttime temperatures are in the low 20s and daytime temperatures are in the 40s. The longer it stays below freezing at night, the longer the sap will run during the warm day to follow. If the weather gets too cold and stays cold, sap flow will stop. If the weather gets too warm and stays warm, sap flow will stop. The cold weather at night allows the tree to cool down and absorb moisture from the ground via the roots. During the day, the tree warms up, the tree’s internal pressure builds up, and the sap will run from a taphole or even a broken twig or branch. For good sap production, maple producers must have the alternating warm/cold temperatures. This is why its so impossible to predict the outcome of the maple crop from year to year.
 
inspector13
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03/10/2021 12:37PM  

Pinetree: "I just wonder if the drier summer meant less water in the ground for trees, thus effects sap output?"
Only sap flow during times of transpiration.

Winter/Spring sap flow is driven more by stem pressure which is caused by freeze thaw cycles, rather than root pressure, as Grizzlyman's post describes.

Here is another explanation. See text starting with paragraph 7.

 
Grizzlyman
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03/15/2021 11:32AM  
Looks like we’re back on track. I collected about 60 gallons this weekend here in cities.
 
03/15/2021 12:32PM  
Grizzlyman: "Looks like we’re back on track. I collected about 60 gallons this weekend here in cities. "

So how much is that per tree per day?
 
03/15/2021 05:24PM  
Pinetree: "Grizzlyman: "Looks like we’re back on track. I collected about 60 gallons this weekend here in cities. "


So how much is that per tree per day?"





Been averaging a gallon when running. Temps all over the place... I teamed up with a friend and we cooked 120 plus gallons of sap yesterday. Only thing I did today was respond to block highway for a helicopter transport. Haha. About two trees did any flowing today.
 
Grizzlyman
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03/15/2021 06:31PM  
Pinetree: "Grizzlyman: "Looks like we’re back on track. I collected about 60 gallons this weekend here in cities. "


So how much is that per tree per day?"
3 days- 16 taps- 60 gallons : works out to about 1.25 per day.. not even production though. Some trees were REALLY going and others not so much.

 
03/15/2021 07:16PM  
Grizzlyman: "Pinetree: "Grizzlyman: "Looks like we’re back on track. I collected about 60 gallons this weekend here in cities. "



So how much is that per tree per day?"
3 days- 16 taps- 60 gallons : works out to about 1.25 per day.. not even production though. Some trees were REALLY going and others not so much.


"
Thanks, neat info.
 
missmolly
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03/15/2021 09:23PM  
Do you have to rest trees some springs, like letting a field go fallow? I ask because tapping a tree's Sun-won sugar seems like draining my blood, something I can do now and then with no problem, but I'll become weaker and weaker if I give blood every week.
 
R1verrunner
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03/16/2021 10:47AM  
My son has 800 plus taps out they are hoping for 5000gals of sap this spring.

We will have to wait an see.
 
03/16/2021 11:50AM  
R1verrunner: "My son has 800 plus taps out they are hoping for 5000gals of sap this spring.


We will have to wait an see."


How many trees?
 
Grizzlyman
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03/16/2021 12:19PM  
missmolly: "Do you have to rest trees some springs, like letting a field go fallow? I ask because tapping a tree's Sun-won sugar seems like draining my blood, something I can do now and then with no problem, but I'll become weaker and weaker if I give blood every week."

I’m sure there’s a real expert on here that could answer this better- But I believe the answer is no. There so little sap taken out of the total volume of the tree that it’s immaterial. In your analogy it’s probably like having a cut that bleeds for a minute or so- maybe like having a bloody nose. I think resting is encouraged if the tree is not in good shape but assuming it’s healthy I don’t think so. If you read some of the literature many of the experts say they’ve tapped the same trees for over a hundred years.
 
THEGrandRapids
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03/16/2021 01:30PM  
Grizzlyman: "missmolly: "Do you have to rest trees some springs, like letting a field go fallow? I ask because tapping a tree's Sun-won sugar seems like draining my blood, something I can do now and then with no problem, but I'll become weaker and weaker if I give blood every week."


I’m sure there’s a real expert on here that could answer this better- But I believe the answer is no. There so little sap taken out of the total volume of the tree that it’s immaterial. In your analogy it’s probably like having a cut that bleeds for a minute or so- maybe like having a bloody nose. I think resting is encouraged if the tree is not in good shape but assuming it’s healthy I don’t think so. If you read some of the literature many of the experts say they’ve tapped the same trees for over a hundred years. "


Only thing I have read is to make sure to keep number of taps to the trees limit, up to 3 taps for some big ones.... and to locate the tap over 6" and up or down 6".... or something to that affect. Don't keep drilling right next to the same hole
 
03/17/2021 08:35AM  
Sap has been running slow at my place in Detroit Lakes, 56 taps out and only 65 gallonns of sap as of 3/15.
 
R1verrunner
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03/18/2021 07:47AM  
Pinetree: "R1verrunner: "My son has 800 plus taps out they are hoping for 5000gals of sap this spring.



We will have to wait an see."



How many trees? "


I am guessing 700 or so

He thinks the run is going to be done by Monday
 
Grizzlyman
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03/21/2021 03:37PM  
I pulled all my taps out today- calling it quits for 2021!

There may be more days yet this season- but I’ve got more than I could ever use already.

In all I made 20 quarts of Syrup this year- that’s 5 gallons- a record for me by a lot!

I gave a ton away to friends/ family- and still have 12 quarts in the basement fridge! It was a good year!
 
yogi59weedr
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03/21/2021 06:30PM  
Pulled my 4 taps out yesterday.
Got just enough to get a cheek full of kisses
And keep a couple jars for myself..
And no, I didn't give any to guys...
 
03/22/2021 11:50AM  
Hoping for another round of sap... my girls are coming end of the month hoping to get in on it. Up here we usually go into April... little warm, but it appears our temps my be more favorable in days ahead. They could be a day late and a bucket of sap short!
 
03/22/2021 11:59AM  
Grizzlyman: "I pulled all my taps out today- calling it quits for 2021!


There may be more days yet this season- but I’ve got more than I could ever use already.


In all I made 20 quarts of Syrup this year- that’s 5 gallons- a record for me by a lot!


I gave a ton away to friends/ family- and still have 12 quarts in the basement fridge! It was a good year!"


I must not be your friend, because I didn’t get any!!
 
Grizzlyman
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03/22/2021 08:42PM  
Captn Tony: "Grizzlyman: "I pulled all my taps out today- calling it quits for 2021!



There may be more days yet this season- but I’ve got more than I could ever use already.



In all I made 20 quarts of Syrup this year- that’s 5 gallons- a record for me by a lot!



I gave a ton away to friends/ family- and still have 12 quarts in the basement fridge! It was a good year!"



I must not be your friend, because I didn’t get any!!"


It’s in the mail. :)
 
JimmyJustice
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03/22/2021 08:52PM  
Seems like we have enough cookers and aficionados to have a spring syrup tasting/wing-day. Probably would be best in April before ice out and folks get tripping on the brain. Anyone interested in sharing their syrup creations?
 
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