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Thread: Hole Production

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Aitkin, MN

    Default Hole Production

    Seems to me I read somewhere there is a fixed (?) amount of time a hole can be expected to produce - was it 20, or 30 days (?) from when tapped?
    I seem to recall this as the amount of time before all the cells are 'healed' (closed off) - ????
    Does anyone out there have information on this?
    - Do the freezing temps extend this time? If so, is it that all the time below freezing does not 'count'?
    - Do the 'check valve' taps extend this time? If so, how much?
    - Do the vacuum systems extend this time?
    With what looks like to be a drawn out season here in Aitkin County (just got 12" of snow and high temps in the low 30's forecast for the next week) ---- just wondering about the merits, if any, of delaying tapping.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Loudon NH


    When you tap buckets you can expect 4 to 6 weeks before the holes dry up using new or sanitized taps. Using used taps that haven't been sterilized shortens that time to about 3 weeks.

    "Red Roof Maples" Where the term "boiling soda" was first introduced to the maple producing world!

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Albion PA


    Just some comments:
    I usually expect 6 weeks as a average season. This year is a little different. Tapped late January and will have our last boil tomorrow April 2nd. We are 9 weeks. Same taps all season. Drizzles now not runs. Our spouts (5/16 Leader health spouts) have only been rinsed with water and are 4-5 year old.
    Delaying tapping? Well the weather is so important in making that decision.
    Some folks that delayed around hear have made about the same amounts of syrup. But in the next few days/ week they make a a lot more. I will be done.
    I know if you wait till mid April to tap the game will be pretty much over.
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    River Falls, WI


    All depends on the temps. A couple days in the 60s will do a lot more damage than a week of 20 degree days. But, if you haven't tapped yet, no point in doing it until the sap is gonna run. You could put a couple of test taps out and wait to do the rest until you see some activity. The sap has been running good down here for a couple weeks, but nothing is gonna happen when it's so cold at night and it only warms up for a couple hours.

    About vacuum and check valves, yes they greatly extend the possible amount of time you can collect sap.
    Second generation sap rat.

    Started taking over in 2012
    2012-2016: 300 buckets 120 on gravity tubing. Waterloo 2x10 wood fired. Averaged 105 gallons per season.
    2017: hoping for 300 on 3/16 with Shurflo and 50 buckets. New used 4x14 Algier wood fired cooker. 180 gallons of syrup

    2018: 300 on vacuum 2 buckets, finally got a splitter!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Aitkin, MN


    I tapped in mid March - like I usually do. I use 'check valve' taps with drop lines to buckets.
    Seems I read here something about 20 - 30 days, but that must assume above freezing daytime temps and no (?) check valves.
    Sometimes there is more info from what is not being said on these posts. I know the 'check valve' people tout the benefits .....

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