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Thread: Bush vs Tree Line/Laneway (Sugar Content, etc)?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Ontario
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    Default Bush vs Tree Line/Laneway (Sugar Content, etc)?

    Hello all,

    I was wondering what affect being a lone, treeline, lane way tree has on the sap quality and production? Being so much shorter, bushier, and leafier must have an effect, but I am unaware if it is positive, negative, or insignificant. I have to decide between prioritizing easy to get to yard trees silver/freeman/red maple, and harder to access bush sugar and black.

    Also The North American Maple Syrup Producers Manual mentions both drilling holes up to 2" and that old thick trees can have 1" bark. Do I add up these numbers and drill 3" into huge old maples?
    Last edited by wisnoskij; 01-31-2020 at 11:28 AM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
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    Feb 2011
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    Temperance Mi
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    If the open grown trees were all sugars it would be a no brainer they would produce more sap and sweeter sap than woods trees. I've had open grown red and silver maples run a lot of sap but I have never had it be really sweet. I've heard of others that have had really sweet yard silvers and reds. I've also had yard reds and silvers that don't run very well, especially with out vac. If I had a choice of either or I would probably go with the woods sugars and blacks unless it was a real pain to get to them.
    Last edited by Ed R; 01-31-2020 at 09:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    If your on gravity tapping deeper will give you way more sap. Take into account the bark depth when you tap.

  4. #4
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    Potsdam in far northern New York
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    Big fat crowns make lots more sugar. I tap 300 yard and streetside trees, and 200 in an old well established sugar bush. The open grown trees always produce sap a full percent higher in sugar. The very best group I tap is a row running East/West with about 10 feet between trunks.

  5. #5
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    Michael, Are your town trees in Potsdam predominately sugar maples or are you tapping a lot of reds and silvers? I am tapping all yard silver and red maples here in Toledo oh. and wish I had 150-200 sugar maples to tap down here like the woods sugars at my family farm in Mid Michigan. Way more predictable sap on those sugars, plus its a point or more higher every year compared to the reds and silvers I'm tapping. The woods trees have been well managed and thinned for over 100 yrs though too. To the o.p., I would put at least a couple of test taps where you decide not to concentrate your effort, just to check on the flow rate and sugar conc. for those trees.

  6. #6
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    These big old streetside trees are almost all Sugar Maples, some planted in the early 1800s. I tap some Reds and some Silvers here and there and sometimes it not worth the walk. Very unreliable by comparison.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2016
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    Ontario
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    Thanks for all the advice.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2017
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    Upper Valley, NH
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    And that is a "yes" on drilling deeper due to thick bark - makes a huge difference in production. For my time, sugars in the woods will outpace reds any day in sugar content (at least they do here in NH). Sugars along a rural road with large crowns will blow everything else away, hands down.
    110 Taps on 3/16" "natural vac"
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  9. #9
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    Walk past the reds and get the sap from the sugarmaples first. Always do the hard work first. Then if you have time pick up those easy reds. Check the sugar content and the quantity of sap collected too. I believe your hard work will pay off.
    The lane trees with bigger crowns should be better if they are the sugars or blacks?
    Just my 2 cents.
    Regards,
    Chris
    Casbohm Maple and Honey
    600 roadside taps
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    www.mapleandhoney.com

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