Jack Schmidling Productions, Inc.
MOST RECENT PHOTOS
It's that time of year again. We have made maple syrup and sometimes wine every year since we have lived out here. This year we tapped 23 Silver Maple trees and just started collecting the sap.
This nifty gadget is called a spile and fits into a hole drilled into the tree. The hook on top allows a bucket or sap sack to be hung directly from it.
The tree end is tapered so tapping with a hammer makes a leak-proof seal.
The rate of drip depends on the weather conditions and varies from zero to about one per second.
The area where trees are tapped is known as the sugar bush and this photo shows a small portion of ours.
We use a commercial "Sap Sack" to collect the sap after trying many on hand methods that are more pain than fun. These work very well and hold about 3 gallons of sap.
The sap starts to run as soon as above freezing days occur and stops if it stays above freezing for more than a day. It also stops at night when it freezes but then resumes in the morning if it warms up again.
The sap is simply water containing about 3% sugar that was produced by the leaves in Fall and stored in the roots. In Spring this sugar is required by the new buds for development. When the new leaves start photosynthesizing and producing sugar, the flow stops completely.