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Thread: Not even a little bit fun this year!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eagle lake Maine
    Posts
    237

    Default Not even a little bit fun this year!

    We started tapping this week and What a nightmare! We've had 150" of snow, heavy winds etc. Every step with snowshoes on, you sink down a couple feet, sometimes 3 or 4 feet. This morning I found a tree down on a mainline under 4' of snow, had to shovel it out to find the tree, then cut it in several places to free the line. We always have 3' of snowpack, but this year there's no bottom, you sink right down. I can usually do 250-300 a day on snowshoes, this year it's more like 100-150. I took this week off thinking I'd get all my tapping done, but it doesn't look like that's happening. I hope you guys are finding better conditions!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Merrimack, NH
    Posts
    553

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    Keep your head up! The flows will start and make it all worth it.
    2020 Upgraded RO to 2 post and 7GBS Gould Pump. 400 taps
    2019 New Smoky Lake 2x6 raised flue, Simplicity Autodraw system, The Maple Guys Maple Jet Filter Press, a beautiful new bride to be my sugaring partner :-)
    2018 Deployed
    2017 Expanded Sugar Shack, new 2x6 with float box, NEXTgen Maple RO, 250+ taps (I hope for 300), still on sap sacks
    2016 New Sugar Shack, 2x6 evaporator, 160 taps, all on Sap Sacks
    2015 Deployed
    2014 110 taps
    2013 35 taps

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    2,164

    Default

    with that amount of snow it sure does take the fun out of sugaring. Just keep plugging away at it till your done. You should be weeks before any sap comes. How many taps do you have?

    Spud

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Walpole, NH
    Posts
    1,104

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eagle lake sugar View Post
    We started tapping this week and What a nightmare! We've had 150" of snow, heavy winds etc. Every step with snowshoes on, you sink down a couple feet, sometimes 3 or 4 feet. This morning I found a tree down on a mainline under 4' of snow, had to shovel it out to find the tree, then cut it in several places to free the line. We always have 3' of snowpack, but this year there's no bottom, you sink right down. I can usually do 250-300 a day on snowshoes, this year it's more like 100-150. I took this week off thinking I'd get all my tapping done, but it doesn't look like that's happening. I hope you guys are finding better conditions!
    Been There, Done That before. It is certainly some of the most discouraging times sugaring. The worst part was thinking that you were never going to get done in time. Unfortunately for us, those years ended up being a bust because by the time the snow melted enough so that the trees thawed out, it was late in the season and the weather quickly turned hot. I certainly hope that is not the case for you.
    Last edited by BAP; 02-24-2019 at 05:50 PM.
    Sugaring for 45+ years
    New Sugarhouse 14'x32'
    New to Me Algier 2'x8' wood fired evaporator
    225 Sugar Maples Currently,(105 on 3/16" and 110 on Shurflo 4008 vacuum, 10 gravity), (16,000 before being disabled)
    1947 Farmall H and Wagon with gathering tank
    2012 Kubota with forks to move wood around

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Chatham NH
    Posts
    1,235

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    I was in Eagle Lake 3 weeks ago Riding and the snow was deep for sure. I am dealing with a lot of snow too, I. The steep areas you are almost helpless it sucks.
    Nate Hutchins
    Nate & Kate's Maple
    2018 1000 taps?
    20x36 sugarhouse
    CDL 600gph RO
    Franken evaporator, lapierre arch, smokylake pans and a leader hood with pre-heater.
    A wife and 2 kids.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Peru, Maine
    Posts
    637

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    Hang in there eagle lake. You guys have a little more than us but we have a pile here in western Maine too. Same thing Saturday for me. I can usually do all drops and repairs on our 400 taps in one day, maybe part of a second day on snowshoes. Gonna be 3 days this year then hopefully 2 of us can tap in one day. Same as you, 7 hours in the woods and was only able to walk 130-140 taps. I too was irritated yesterday, definitely not fun when you’re up to your knees in snowshoes! The guys tapping the 5400 tap bush we do the line work for in Byron are struggling too. Ive been on snowshoes every weekend since November 8th.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Middlesex Vermont
    Posts
    643

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    I have had the same issue plus most of my trees are on a steep hillside. There is a lot of frozen snow half way down in the snow pack, and your snow shoes suddenly become skies! I have repaired more lines and main liness this year than all the years I have sugared put together. And now tonight we are getting hit with high winds again!
    110 taps W.F Mason 2x3 and two turkey friers for finishing

    2011 expanding to a Mason 2x4 with a blower increasing taps to about 200
    2011 Hurricane Irene rips thru my small sugar bush cost me to lose 20% of taps
    2014 I have reworked my lines for 2014
    32 taps on 5/16 line with check valves
    57 taps on 3/16 line with check valves
    55 buckets with total tapped trees of 144

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Eagle lake Maine
    Posts
    237

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spud View Post
    with that amount of snow it sure does take the fun out of sugaring. Just keep plugging away at it till your done. You should be weeks before any sap comes. How many taps do you have?

    Spud
    We have 3100 taps currently, mostly on steep ground.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Bristol, VT
    Posts
    1,862

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    If it were easy everyone would be doing it! lol This is one good reason it is critical to stay in tip top shape during the off season. If anyone wants in on my fitness program let me know.

    I do all my woods work on foot, with crampons or on snowshoes. No fancy tracked four-wheelers or any of that expensive stuff for me. It wouldn't help much anyway as I have some every steep and rugged terrain to deal with.

    In deep snow my strategy is this. I pack out trails with snowshoes along each mainline and then strategically so that when it is time to head to the woods and tap or do repairs I can be working on packed trails and with minimal wallowing. I do this while carrying nothing but a water bottle. I also try to do most of my work going downhill as it is much easier than trying to go up in deep snow.
    About 750 taps on High Vac.
    2.5 x 8 Intens-O-Fire
    Airtech 3 hp LR Pump
    Springtech Elite 500 RO
    14 x 24 Timber Frame SugarHouse
    16 x 22 Sap Shed w/ 1500 gal. + 700 gal. tanks
    www.littlehogbackfarm.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lanark, ON
    Posts
    2,228

    Default

    Deep snow certainly sucks the fun out of tapping in a hurry! We normally try to walk the bush in November to do any repairs needed before the snow flies but we had snow so early that didn't get done. As a result we have a million little repairs to make that take 5x longer now than they would have before winter.
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    3 tower CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
    www.ennismaple.com

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