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Thread: Vernon County

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

    Default Vernon County

    Hi All Well it looks like its time to tap our trees. Our plan is this Saturday March 7th, the three of us will work up top, they will tap and I will bring two 100 gallon bulk tanks up, cover them with snow then white tarps to insulate Then run the 800 foot main line down to the 325 gallon tank by the sugar house. Clean up the sugar house, clean the soot from under the flu pan and patch the gaps in the fire brick. We have between 4 and 7 inches of snow in the woods. the weather forecast for next Wednesday is 56 degrees. too warm but we get what God gives us. Good luck to all and stay safe out there.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Viroqua, WI
    Posts
    55

    Default

    We're in southern Vernon county, north facing slope so may be behind a few days. Planning to tap on the 10th. Good luck and keep posting!

    2014 - Cinder block fire box, 2 roaster pans (thanks Mom), mix of 11 red and sugar maples tapped, 1.75G syrup.
    2015 - Same fire box reconfigured for Smoky Lake 24" x 33" pan. 17 taps on 16 trees with tubing to 5 gal buckets. 114g sap down to 2 3/4g
    beautiful syrup.
    2016 - Cinder block fire box is holding up fine. 20 taps, 155 G sap, 3.37G syrup. Great fun with friends.
    2017 - 21 taps on 5 gallon buckets. Good sap runs and reached my goal of producing 5 G syrup.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin -Vernon County
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Tapped 23 in eastern Vernon County yesterday - 15 within an easy walk, 8 way up on ridge. Get to those on foot (!). Made a yoke for carrying two 5 gallon buckets. Looked them up on google and decided $200-300 is too much. Made mine from Ace Hardware for $19. Will let you know how that works.
    Building rocket stove with insulating firebrick this year - like to experiment. Check this out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyTWOBAUYs8

    Hoping to have full buckets by week's end. Good luck!

    2012 - 1 gallon over propane burner
    2013 - 2.5 gallons over wood fire
    2014 - 3 gallons in 4 x 8 ss pan with cinder block rocket stove
    2015 - 4 x 8 ss pan with insulating firebrick rocket stove - ? gallons

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Sunday eve March 9th Well it feels good to get back home, on Saturday March 7th the three of us and Sadie our trusty yellow lab got our 200 trees tapped. All the trees are up top on the ridge, last year 50 were on the north facing hillside way too hard to gather,spilled sap and wet pants. We used my old snowmobile with a large otter sled to move pails and stuff around. It was quite windy about 10%were dripping.the snow was melting fast. the guys saw 10 deer move thru the woods guess they ran down by me, of course I did not see a one. Got the main line down to the bulk tank, and called it a day. Today Sunday my son and I cleaned up the sugar house,and wow was the snow melting,went up top about three pm to check the pails,some had two inches of sap in the bottom others were dry. My plan is to empty pails on Wednesday, will store the sap in our bulk tanks on the ridge top, we covered them with snow and then a white tarp,this works great to keep 200 gallons cold. With the big snow melt guess its time to switch to the four wheeler.Hope I can make it up the ridge road,even with chains on all four tires it can be a challenge. Remember the whiter the bread the quicker your dead.
    Last edited by Mr Sugar Maple; 03-08-2015 at 08:44 PM.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Greetings to my Vernon County friends. Your experiences seem to mirror mine over here in Crawford. Plenty of deer running around, melting snow obeying the law of gravity, and forecasts that don't change fore the next week or so. We'll have to see what we can make of this season. Meanwhile I am going to work on my own yoke this morning after being reminded of that a post or two up. Time for some wholewheat toast.
    2019 47 taps and 10.75 gallons of syrup
    2020 45 taps and 21.25 gallons of syrup
    2021 50 taps and 13.5 gallons of syrup
    2022 check back in March 2022

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Viroqua, WI
    Posts
    55

    Default

    Irish Ridge.... would you be willing to post a pic or description of the yoke you come up with? Tapped 15 trees yesterday and nearly all were running. Set them all up on 5 gallon buckets with the plan to boil on the weekends (yes, packed snow around them and keeping my fingers crossed!). 2014 was my first year. Was so excited about the whole endeavor that it didnt matter how heavy those buckets were. Year 2 and I'm as obsessed as ever but trying to work smarter. I'm just north of you in southern Vernon county. Good luck!

    Quote Originally Posted by Irish Ridge View Post
    Greetings to my Vernon County friends. Your experiences seem to mirror mine over here in Crawford. Plenty of deer running around, melting snow obeying the law of gravity, and forecasts that don't change fore the next week or so. We'll have to see what we can make of this season. Meanwhile I am going to work on my own yoke this morning after being reminded of that a post or two up. Time for some wholewheat toast.

    2014 - Cinder block fire box, 2 roaster pans (thanks Mom), mix of 11 red and sugar maples tapped, 1.75G syrup.
    2015 - Same fire box reconfigured for Smoky Lake 24" x 33" pan. 17 taps on 16 trees with tubing to 5 gal buckets. 114g sap down to 2 3/4g
    beautiful syrup.
    2016 - Cinder block fire box is holding up fine. 20 taps, 155 G sap, 3.37G syrup. Great fun with friends.
    2017 - 21 taps on 5 gallon buckets. Good sap runs and reached my goal of producing 5 G syrup.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Today March 11th I went to our sugar bush to dump pails, weather very warm, our snow is all gone up top still about 4 inches on the north hill side. Used the 4 wheeler made it up the ridge road first try, only about 40% had any sap in the pails the most about 1 gallon average 1 pint, I think the tree roots are still too frozen. only gathered 20 gallons,so with the extra time today I did get a chance to clean out the bluebird houses Guess we all hope for the weather to improve for us crazy tree loving sap gathering syrup making folks,
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Wisconsin -Vernon County
    Posts
    42

    Default

    Mr Sugar Maple,
    Thanks for the update - how many of your trees are north side vs. south? The reason I ask is I'm going up Saturday and have no idea what to expect. 15 of my 25 taps are south facing and next to a fence line that provides sun half the day.
    Tom

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Prairie du Chien, WI
    Posts
    157

    Default

    Nothing to do with sap that isn't running but my yoke is built. Took an old hardwood shovel handle and tied lengths of rope 17 inches on each end. Then put an S hook on the end of each rope. Filled my buckets with water and tried walking. Sure seems lighter, very stable. I might just add a bit of padding around the neck contact point. Didn't cost a cent, just odds and ends in the wood shop.
    PICT0001.jpg Tried to add a picture here but thinking it might not work. If it doesn't I will research how to get it in a post. All for tonight.
    2019 47 taps and 10.75 gallons of syrup
    2020 45 taps and 21.25 gallons of syrup
    2021 50 taps and 13.5 gallons of syrup
    2022 check back in March 2022

    56 acres above the Mississippi River in SW Wisconsin
    43.01N

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    West branch Kickapoo River Valley, Southwestern Wisconsin
    Posts
    154

    Default

    Hi tommoore 30 you asked how our trees face, our sugar bush is on top of our hill,with a slight pitch to the north west. the trees that were running the most, were at the minimum ten inch for tapping. Even a line of twenty five trees along our top field but inside the woods about twenty five yards did not have any sap in the pails.I did notice the trees with the most sap had soft muddy ground around the trunk your south facing trees should be ahead of mine. So have a great day Saturday, I plan to head for our land tomorrow spend the week end there.
    Last edited by Mr Sugar Maple; 03-12-2015 at 09:39 PM.
    12x16 Sugar House 2x6 Maple Pro wood fired evaporator Arctic Cat 4x4 1980 Snowmobile 225 taps on buckets 17 Taps on 3/16th tubing on steep hillside

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