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Thread: 2018 Missouri Tapping Season

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Missouri
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    91

    Default 2018 Missouri Tapping Season

    Well, we're certainly getting the cold temps this year. Hopefully this is priming the trees for a long flow.

    This will probably be my last year making maple syrup because I'm building a cabin an a small farm that doesn't have any sugar maple trees. There are some walnuts though...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Defiance, MO
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    9

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    Well this is my third year as a hobby sapper and I just now found this forum. First year I tapped 10 trees, second year 25, and now I plan to tap all 85 sugar maples on my property using 5/16 tubing on a gravity setup. Most of my trees are on the side of a very steep hill so I'm planning to gravity feed them down to the bottom of the hill and collect in 5Gallon buckets. I'll then use a homemade sled with a long rope attached to my ATV to pull up 8 buckets at a time on the sled. I'm located in Defiance, Missouri which is about 45 minutes west of St. Louis.

    Last year I didn't tap until the 4th week of January and it's looking to me like I should probably start tapping the south facing trees in the coming week. I wonder how many days it'll take to thaw our trees out after this multi week cold spell? Is anyone else thinking we should start tapping soon?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    155

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    In Tennessee. Thinking about tapping a few tomorrow. I was thinking the same thing about the trees needing to thaw.

  4. #4
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    Jan 2018
    Location
    Defiance, MO
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    I got antsy and installed about 20 taps today. Only 2 of the trees were running and only barely. I'm going to try to wait a little longer for the rest of the trees unless I see some good flow soon. The ground here is still very frozen.

    Am I the only one with no patience in the state?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Defiance, MO
    Posts
    9

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    Its slowly warmed up over the past two days and we're in the 50s today. I just checked and only got about a qt of sap total from the 20 trees i tapped a couple days ago. The only two that were running were on the top and bottom of my hills. All of the trees on the sides of the hills haven't produced a drop. Looks like I was too soon on my taps this year and I'm waiting to tap the other 60 trees until after this next cold spell.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
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    249

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    Quote Originally Posted by kgingerich View Post
    Its slowly warmed up over the past two days and we're in the 50s today. I just checked and only got about a qt of sap total from the 20 trees i tapped a couple days ago. The only two that were running were on the top and bottom of my hills. All of the trees on the sides of the hills haven't produced a drop. Looks like I was too soon on my taps this year and I'm waiting to tap the other 60 trees until after this next cold spell.
    You weren't too soon. Typically won't flow well until 2nd, 3rd, or even 4th day of warm up when your trees have been frozen like they have been the last couple weeks. Even if you don't get much sap, there's no harm in having them tapped. As long as the wind doesn't get too crazy, I'd say you'll have a fair amount of sap to collect by Thursday pm.

    And with 85 trees, you had better be ready. If this is only your third year, I take it you've never experienced a BIG sap run. I've had trees average well over 2 gallons in a 24 hour period when the right type of warm-up hits. Just a couple hours ago, I collected sap with one of my classes (I teach HS Science) and gathered about 3.5 gallons from 6 taps, 3 of which hadn't run much at all.
    Last edited by Goggleeye; 01-10-2018 at 01:54 PM.
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    Defiance, MO
    Posts
    9

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    Thanks for reassuring me. Why does the wind play a factor?

    I only have maybe a third of my 85 trees tapped currently because I wasn't sure of tapping this early. Today a couple more trees started to flow and I collect about a gallon of sap. Not as much as I had hoped considering the nearly 60 degree day we had. Tomorrow we have a little more warmth and then it's going back to deep freeze for a week.

    Last year I used a turkey fryer pot over a flame to boil my sap and this year I purchased three stainless steel steam pans to use in a concrete block evaporator setup. Hopefully I'm able to keep up.

    Good luck to you this year!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    155

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    Poked three reds today out of curiosity. 1 dripped decent , the other two didn't at all? Gonna give it another shot next week.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    SE Missouri
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by kgingerich View Post
    Thanks for reassuring me. Why does the wind play a factor?

    I only have maybe a third of my 85 trees tapped currently because I wasn't sure of tapping this early. Today a couple more trees started to flow and I collect about a gallon of sap. Not as much as I had hoped considering the nearly 60 degree day we had. Tomorrow we have a little more warmth and then it's going back to deep freeze for a week.

    Last year I used a turkey fryer pot over a flame to boil my sap and this year I purchased three stainless steel steam pans to use in a concrete block evaporator setup. Hopefully I'm able to keep up.

    Good luck to you this year!
    Don't know if it's been shown scientifically, but I would say that the wind increases movement of twigs and branches, and the dissolved gasses in the sap diffuse through the surface of the twigs instead of creating pressure as they expand, the pressure that normally drives the sap down and out the tap hole. What I do know through my experiences is that high wind (above 20 mph) seems to decrease sap flow. Anybody out there sure about the science behind it?

    I didn't have near as much sap as I thought I'd have this evening. I think things may still be somewhat froze up, and the wind hasn't helped things. Maybe tomorrow.

    As for your set-up, I think you may find yourself wishing you had a bit more boiling capacity when you get a big run. When I started with my homemade arch and fabricated pans, I had 15 sq ft of boiling area, which was about right for 120 taps. I think I have some pics of past set-ups here. or here.

    Oh, and if I were you, I'd get them all tapped. But then I'm a little OCD about never missing a drop of sap. You know, wringing out dead squirrels that drown in your sap buckets. Things like that. If you don't understand yet, you will soon!
    Last edited by Goggleeye; 01-10-2018 at 09:28 PM.
    Now I have an outdoor hobby for all 12 months. Like I need anything more to do
    460 taps on gravity tubing, 2.5 X 8 Leader King
    http://www.gihringfamilyfarm.com/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    850

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    Esetter, Reds are notoriously moody trees. Many won't run at all on simply a tap and some will gush. If you have any sugar maples they will tell you what is happening.

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