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Thread: Western Mass 2019

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Montague, MA
    Posts
    14

    Default Western Mass 2019

    Thinking about tapping in Franklin county Saturday so that I can get every drop for the start of Sunday's warm spell. 3 straight days in the 40's and the rest in mid 30's. Crossing my fingers on no more arctic blast. It's early but I'm going crazy waiting

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Garrettsville,Ohio
    Posts
    370

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    Jumping the gun is a good way to make less syrup
    Fred Ahrens
    330-206-1606
    Richards Maple Products
    Ohio CDL sales rep
    1500 taps

    dont take life too serious, nobody gets out alive anyways

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    302

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    I'm at 2,000 ft. about 45 minutes west of you and my average date of first tapping is the 1st week of March. I wouldn't think of chasing warm spells and hoping for no arctic blasts. Remember last March? We got 3 major Nor-easters and temps. plummeted.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

    "Roses are red and violets are purple
    Sugar is sweet and so is maple surple
    "

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    318

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    I jumped the gun last year in Chester. Tapped on January 20. Wound up with half the sap per day that I've gotten previously. Not to mention all kinds of issues dealing with frozen sap. Bad decision on my part.

    I'm at only 800 feet, but I still won't be tapping before late Feb at the earliest this year.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Stockbridge,Ma
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Last year we finished tapping about Feb. 22 ,made our first syrup on the 24th and made over 1/3 of a gallon per tap without vacuum. I'm going to wait another week and watch the weather. Not to worried about missing much this early.
    Last edited by bill m; 01-29-2019 at 05:07 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Montague, MA
    Posts
    14

    Default

    I run vacuum at an elevation of 570 ft. Looking at the projected temperatures for Feb. and march if I tap early I should have 8 days of sap leading up to Feb 21st when temps are looking more consistently warmer. Last year I tapped Feb 5th and didn't start off with good flow till I switched to vacuum (night and day difference). By April I was having a hard time keeping my sap cold enough working 14hrs a day so April was a wash. If I ran buckets I definitely wait being the avg tap life is 4 weeks, vacuum 6+. My early syrup was my best. Nice and golden. My fear of starting later is April will be a wash again but I'll try waiting approx till the 21st
    2018 -12 taps 8 vacuum 4 gravity/RO = 3 gallons syrup
    2019 - 20 taps upgraded vacuum system/RO = goal 7 gallons

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    318

    Default

    A few things to keep in mind about those projected early Feb days:
    - Those predicted high temps in the day are just that - the high temp. In Jan and early Feb, it may only be an hour or two anywhere near that temp, coming from lower overnight temps, and with few hours of sunlight. Your trees have a lot of mass, and so does the frozen ground around them. That means they may never, or barely, defrost enough for sap to flow, no matter what the high temp for the day is.
    - Frozen lines don't move sap

    Probably a good choice to wait a little.

    Good luck!

    Cheers,

    GO
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    9,842

    Default

    Besides that, the few days when the sap would run, helps increase the sugar% in the sap. More times up and down raises the sap sugar%. Besides, there is a lot of cold ahead of us.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    added a gooseneck equipment trailer and F350 to tow it to haul more sap
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    318

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    Besides that, the few days when the sap would run, helps increase the sugar% in the sap. More times up and down raises the sap sugar%.
    I did not know that. That could help explain why I saw my lowest sugar percent in the sap ever, last year. It averaged only 1.4%

    This year to maximize the time I have available, I'm probably just going to tap/boil in March. Hopefully that will mean I get the best sugar my maples can give.
    2016: First year. Homemade evaporator out of little woodburning stove with steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls syrup
    2017: Same little homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls syrup.
    2018: Same setup. Limited time (New baby!) Downsized to 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons syrup.
    2019: Still very limited time, with a one-year-old. Downsized even further to 7 taps and a short season. 2.1 gallons syrup

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    blandford ma
    Posts
    101

    Default

    Think I might do my Westfield trees Sunday

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