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Thread: Identifying Trees in the Winter

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2020
    Location
    Chaska, MN
    Posts
    35

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    Quote Originally Posted by maple flats View Post
    First look for opposite branching. All of the limbs start as half of van opposite set, however most of them, one gets broken off, so to check you need to use binoculars and look at the upper limbs or the outer sections on any limb to verify if it has opposite branching. Then to know if it is a sugar maple or black maple you need to see a bud that can be seen but not yet opened, a sugar maple and black maples have buds that come to a point, reds and silvers have buds that have a flat top. The bark on a sugar maple starts when young almost like it has a pebble finish, as it matures the bark starts to have plates that peal away vertically. Also, on a sugar maple limbs coming off the trunk have a fairly large swell at the base of the limb, likely more than many other trees.
    Once You've identified them for a couple of years you will be able to identify them from a distance in the winter.
    Red maples have a fairly rough bark, almost similar to a black cherry but not as pronounced. One thing that can help also is to know what type of ground they like to live in, sugars do not like their toes in water, reds and silvers can grow in wetter areas, often on a little rise like a small island in areas that are seasonally wet but not under water most of the year.
    The opposite branching turned out to be very helpful for me. I'm able to walk around my backwoods and easily ID with this method. Added bonus was a having the binoculars in hand with a Bald Eagle perched on a nearby limb.
    2020 1st season- 8 gallons of syrup

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Oakville, ON
    Posts
    80

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Greer View Post
    Chances are you won't get any sap from other species.
    No, you will get sap from numerous other species walnut, birch and many soft maples. In Europe where they dont have maples they often tap birch. Problem is all of the other trees typically have <1% sugar so you're boiling 80l of sap to get a little of very dark, strong tasting syrup!
    2020 - 100 taps on buckets, 21L syrup from 2700L so far (FEB 26-Mar 13)
    2019 - 62 taps on buckets, 95L syrop from 3215L sap
    2018 - 62 taps, collecting by hand, 90L syrop from 3200L sap
    2017 - Lapierre Waterloo Small mini pro with 40 taps, only up and running mid March so missed most of season!
    2014 - 2016 40 taps making one or two batches on a 2x6 flat pan over an open arch as it would have been done in 1900

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
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    731

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    True, and all of those will make sweet sap.Butternut is actually quite nice in with the Maple. You won't get any sap out of an Oak, Ash, or Basswood though....I've accidentally tapped them all.

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