Tapping Maple Trees

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by mistletoad, Feb 11, 2004.

  1. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Yesterday we tapped 4 silver maples and we hope to tap 6 more today - I bought 10 spiles just to see how this would work.

    We live in southern Maryland so we won't have a long season but this week the weather is perfect - finally a reason to enjoy the cold nights!

    This morning the boys woke me to tell me there one soda bottle was about 3/4 full. Sure enough at 9am I collected it up and we got 76oz of sap.

    I don't suppose we will get more than 1 or 2 breakfasts from this, but we are learning a new skill and it still seems like ages until we can work in the garden.
     
  2. Jeff Hathaway

    Jeff Hathaway Active Member

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    Good luck with the silver maples. I don't know anyone who's ever tried them, but I suspect that you could get pretty good results, just with more effort and more time. The sugar concentration is quite a bit lower than sugar maples, so you need more sap, more firewood, etc. (I suspect you know this already :) . When I was young, my father tapped a red maple on our property to make syrup as a demonstration for us. I can't remember how it tasted, but I remember assuming that tree was a sugar maple for years afterwards!

    Birch trees can also be tapped. If you've got access to some, you might want to give them a try.

    Jeff Hathaway
     

  3. Helena

    Helena Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget it does take about 40 gallons of sap to make a gallon of syrup...but very well worth it for sure !! Boil your sap ..OUTSIDE...and not in the house when you do have enough to start boiling. You can save you sap if you keep it cool until you have enough to do this. Be very careful when it does start to boil because it will burn fast within a blink of an eye and all your work will be for nothing. Nothing taste better then your own syrup on homemade hot cakes made on your kitchen cook stove. I wish you luck and enjoy !!!( check out the book by Helen and Scott Nearing on Maple Syrup or there is very simple information in the Homesteading Manual by John Vivan)
     
  4. mistletoad

    mistletoad Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the advice and encouragement - I am really enjoying this even though I doubt we will get much int he way of syrup. I did mess up on the trees - they are red maples not silver maple.

    Does anyone know why one of the trees is putting out an orangy-brown sap while the others are producing sap that is as clear as water?

    I'm keeping the sap in the fridge until I can boil it up - I have it in mason jars and it looks like moonshine! lol
     
  5. tallpines

    tallpines Well-Known Member

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    Once the buds begin to form on the trees, the sap will turn yellow.
    We usually quit collecting at that time as the syrup isn't as good.

    If your trees aren't budding yet, I'd try pulling that particular tap and try a differnt spot on that tree.