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Thread: When to tap my trees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2019
    Location
    Oxford, OH
    Posts
    16

    Default When to tap my trees

    I am in central Ohio where we are having 60 degree weather at Christmas, with no real cold weather in the forecast. I’d like some advice on when to tap my trees this season given this weather.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Temperance Mi
    Posts
    352

    Default

    Don't tap now, its too warm. Its going to get cold again mid month, be ready to tap after that cold snap. I'm not saying to tap then, try to keep an eye on the extended forecast for weather trends and decide then. Remember that warm weather messes with your taps way more than cold.
    Last edited by Ed R; 12-26-2019 at 10:30 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    952

    Default

    I'm south east of you about 2 hrs and I am ready to tap any time now for a group of early taps. Ed is right don't tap in this warm weather, it will hurt your tap production. Here's how I approach early tapping. I have a lot of extra trees to tap, so I gamble with some for early production. I have a group of about 40 taps I will probably tap next week, probably Tuesday or Wednesday. My regular taps I will tap during the first long term weather break after January 20th. I have done it this way for 10 years and had good luck. My average tap date for regular spring taps is January 25th and I am usually pulling taps March 3-5. Anymore, I think we as syrup producers need to get away from traditional tap dates and watch trends from year to year. This year I am thinking that we'll get a pretty productive early January and then hit a deep freeze and our regular season may start later than average, but then move really fast. I wouldn't be surprised if most of the production is a 3 week season (mid feb.) then some spotty runs and early warm period shuts us down. It is possible to get some good production in early January, but those taps will decrease a lot by optimum season. Also, it matters if your on tubing or buckets. with tubing you can stretch it out, but I wouldn't gamble with buckets/bags. I have no doubt you can make syrup next week, but I wouldn't risk all my production on just making some early syrup. If you have some extra trees then I say go for it, if not wait.
    100 -110 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Morrow County Ohio
    Posts
    26

    Default

    I am 25 miles north of Columbus and here it is Jan. 7 still not had that cold snap, and not going to for the next 15 days according to the forcast.
    If we manage to stay this mild all winter how will that effect the season in terms of flow and percent of sugar.
    Leader half pint Supreme
    RO Bucket-RB15

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Genesee Township, Michigan
    Posts
    58

    Default

    A similar thing in South East Michigan, above freezing in the day, below at night. Had a few day below freezing for the high in November, a few in December and so far one in January. Forecast for the next few week of below freezing for most days - but we all know how good those long range forecasts are...
    Last edited by jimmol; 01-16-2020 at 05:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    Location
    OH
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Yep, looks like a cold snap is coming for a few days this weekend before it warms up. That should produce a good run. But you have to roll the dice and hope it doesn't freeze solid for a couple weeks because then we won't get any sap flowing.
    2020: 31 taps. 3 full size steam table pans on a custom 6x water heater natural gas burner setup.
    2019: 31 taps on silvers. Back porch gas cook top with 2 full size steam table pans. An amazing 14.9 gallons in my backyard!
    2018: 22 taps on 9 silvers. Propane turkey fryer and full size steam table pan on electric stove. I made 4.25 gallons in my backyard!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Peoria, IL
    Posts
    597

    Default

    I don't know about OH but here in IL I never tap before February no matter what the temps are. January is too unpredictable and might look good but then might freeze up for a few weeks. Just wait it out till you know the early spring weather is here to stay.
    Camp Wokanda
    Peoria Park District

    2020 - 210 taps 3/16 shurflo, upgraded hp pump on RO - 66 gallons
    2019 - 150 taps 3/16 shurflo, Deer Run 125 dolly RO - 73 gallons
    2018 - 120 taps 3/16 hybrid (shurflo), 2x6 raised flue w/hood, homemade arch w/ AUF & AOF - 34.5 gallons
    2017 - 60 taps 3/16 gravity, oil tank arck w/ steam pans - 12.5 gallons

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