View Poll Results: When tapping, what rate of hitting old tapholes do you consider acceptable?

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  • 1 out of 20 tapholes hits discolored wood (5% chance)

    46 74.19%
  • 1 out of 10 tapholes hits discolored wood (10% chance)

    12 19.35%
  • 1 out of 5 tapholes hits discolored wood (20% chance)

    2 3.23%
  • 1 out of 4 tapholes hits discolored wood (25% chance)

    0 0%
  • 1 out of 3 tapholes hits discolored wood (33% chance)

    2 3.23%
  • 1 out of 2 tapholes hits discolored wood (50% chance)

    0 0%
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Thread: Tapping Sustainability

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    2,343

    Default Tapping Sustainability

    INFO/BACKGROUND

    Tapping a maple tree for sap collection creates an internal zone of discolored (non-functional) wood as the tree compartmentalizes the wound. Sap does not flow through such discolored areas ever again, therefore it is important that maple producers preferentially tap into white functional wood to achieve the highest level of sap production.

    Tapping Guidelines are designed to limit the amount of non-functional wood in a tree stem. Maple producers see the results of overtapping or cluster-tapping as an increase in the probability of drilling into a discolored zone of wood. Different practices (# of taps per tree, tree growth rates, diameter and depth of taphole, etc.) affect the proportion of the tree that becomes compartmentalized. Overtapping can lead to a high probability of hitting discolored wood, resulting in reduced sap flow.

    When tapping trees (assuming they have been in production for at least 20 years), what rate of hitting old tapholes (indicated by the presence of yellow/brown wood shavings on the bit) would you consider acceptable)? Put another way, what probability of hitting discolored wood would cause you to change your tapping practices (reduce tapping intensity, lengthen drop lines) to avoid hitting discolored wood from old tapholes in the future?
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 11-29-2012 at 10:56 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Default

    Hi Folks.....

    We'd like to get a lot more responses to our poll. If you have a minute, please provide a response.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    clarendon springs,vermont
    Posts
    13

    Default

    On my parents farm I'm tapping trees that have been tapped for 75 years straight. Back in the older days the previous owners tapped with buckets and tapped heavily. Most of these trees are really big diameter trees with huge crowns. I've limited most if them to 2 taps per tree. I'd say 20% of my tap holes have discolored wood in the shavings. I will not pound a spout into these holes. I redrill and try to find better wood. If I can't find out of three try's I eliminate that drop. The smaller taps will definitely help this over time and less agressive tapping as well.
    17000 taps 25000 for next year. Sales Associate and manager of CDL Rutland store

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    spencer, new york
    Posts
    375

    Default

    The bush we tap has been tapped sense before 1900, and tapped every year to the present except for a 15 year (+ or - ) period when it wasn't tapped. There is plenty of new growth that has come along over the years but we still tap several older trees. We hardly ever see darkened wood when we tap and not sure if i could put a number on what is acceptible. We certanly don't want any, but take what we get. I would rather vote on the least amount as the percentage of darkened wood that we get is a lower than 5%. We plan on producing syrup for many years to come and hope to pass the tradition on to the next generation so we have committed to 1 tap per tree, small taps and a shallow whole deepth. I did not vote on your poll, but would have if it had a less than 5% option.
    3rd generation maple producer
    3x10 Lightning Small Brothers (on natural gas)with piggyback
    Still need more taps
    A 24' x24' sugarhouse (2011)too small(2012)
    Homemade Finishing and Bottling Equipment (on natural gas)
    Father and Son operation with plenty
    of family and friends support
    Still expanding

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Weare, NH
    Posts
    173

    Default

    I have about 800-900 taps currently and I would say I get to close to an old hole on maybe 5 of them every year. 1% or less is what should be acceptable.
    Sugarbush in Tunbridge VT.
    1020 taps for 2014 (made 515 gallons)
    2hp liquid ring vac
    3x10 small bros w/preheater, blower and new airtight front = 140 gph
    Sap Brother Eco-50 RO(got 270gph @250psi in 2014)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Honor, michigan
    Posts
    575

    Default

    I voted in the pole before seeing the part about trees "in production for at least 20 years" part . I voted for 1 out of 20. disregard my vote if it is not of help for your poll. most of my 800 taps have only been in production for 3-5 years.
    Mike
    1000 taps on vac
    Gast 2565 vacuum pump
    rebuilt Vermont arch
    Smoky lake maple custom pans
    4 x 11 reverse flow
    Smoky Lake auto-draw
    600 gallon Zero tank and 4 cage tanks
    650 gallon surge tank

    https://www.facebook.com/WhaleysMapleSyrup?ref=hl

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    2,343

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    We'd like to get a lot more responses to our poll. If you have a minute, please provide a response.
    Hi All,

    This POLL closes tomorrow.....we'd like to get some more responses. Please take a few minutes and respond.

    Thanks in advance.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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