Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Maple Season - Part I

 A glorious morning with low temps and the lightest of snow left halos on all the trees.

I thought it would be fun to post some pictures I took earlier today while Doug and my Dad tapped the first maples of the year! I will write more as this whole process progresses!

We were hoping to do this on our own Maple trees that line the creek at the back of our property, but the snow there is still quite deep, and it's a long walk to the closest place to park the truck. We have permission to tap trees on our neighbor's land where the trees sit right next to his driveway and the road, we started there instead. 

Dad with the tapper (a gas powered drill).

Doug inserting the tap.

It's an absolutely gorgeous, sunny day out today - perfect to put us in the mood for mapling. I'll follow this up with more pictures as the process unfolds. Doug and I are just learning about it all, so it's new and very exciting. We do know however that we LOVE real maple syrup, so our motivation and spirits are high that this will work and we'll end up with some sugary love by a few weeks down the road!

This tree was big enough for two taps!

The first drip of (precious) sap!
We ended up with 12 taps in 10 trees. Doug will go back and seal up tight
the holes around where the tubes enter the buckets.
This is what happens to your cold plastic taps when you bend the tubing too far.
Doug is holding it for the picture, but I was the one who broke it! Doh!
Right in the center of this picture you can see the "scar" of a previous tap in this tree.
We will tap some trees closer to Mom and Dad's house also, probably ending up with a total of somewhere around 30-40 trees. Sap-gathering and firing up the evaporator should start happening soon - stay tuned!


  1. That is so exciting!! Your own real maple syrup. Yea! It sounds like this is something you can do year after year and it doesn't hurt the tree or you just take enough so if doesn't hurt the tree? I know nothing about it, but I'm excited to learn more. Can you tap maple trees in WA? It seems like it's always done back east. Hmmmm...
    Beautiful pictures!

  2. Hi Brittney!
    We CAN do it year after year (or at least as long as my father is willing to share his equipment, since all the taps, buckets and the evaporator are his!). Apparently as long as the trees are healthy, taking the relatively small amount of sap that we drain does not hurt them.
    I've also only heard about making maple syrup here in the NorthEast (though certainly of other kinds of tree sap being boiled down to syrup elsewhere, particularly Alaska), so I did a quick google search and found out why. Check out: when you get the chance. It explains why; all the sugar maples are up here in this part of the country!


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