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Thread: how early is too early?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian View Post
    I talk to him tonight, He said they had 25,000 taps in and sitting on 30,000 gallons of 1.2 sap. He is going to see what he gets from this next warm spell. Then ro it all and boil it. As far as taps go, alittle over 100,000.
    Tapping decisions depend upon number of taps and work-force. If you've got 100,000 taps and can only do 10,000 a week, then you better start 10 weeks before you expect the season to start. The longevity of the taphole (how well it flows over time) will depend upon spout/dropline sanitation practices (including vacuum management in there) and the weather. There is a trade-off between tapping early and sap production later in the season, and that calculation varies depending upon the factors above. A taphole is a "perishable" product...and how long it lasts depends upon time, temperature, and sanitation level.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
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    hills west of Jeff City Missouri
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    OK thanks to all. We will likely ream the holes in early Feb if flowrates decline. John
    2020: 220 trees, most smaller than 20" diameter, made 25 gallons
    remote location in western Cole County
    5/16" plastic spiles, drain into plastic buckets or sapsaks
    haul sap out of woods using atv & trailer
    wood-fired pans on concrete blocks
    one Leader Half Pint 24 x 33" plus 24 x 30 ss pan from a junkyard
    cook batch process then finish in the kitchen;
    we dont sell our syrup; its for family & friends
    see website www.mosyrup.com

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    353

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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Tapping decisions depend upon number of taps and work-force.
    Dr. Tim, doesn't location play a factor as well? For example, earlier in this thread Nova Scotia was mentioned with making syrup into May but here in central Pennsylvania, I have not made any syrup past the end of March. I would think that geography and the earlier mentioned microclimate would play a major role in when to tap. Does this sound correct or am I way off?
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  4. #14
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    Yes, obviously location is important. I felt that was included in the “weather” aspect of my comment, which would take in both physio-geography, elevation, aspect of a sugarbush.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2020
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    Connecticut
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    Sugar Bear - Thanks for the specifics - it is good to know what other maplers are doing nearby. I think I only have tapped once in Jan, but recently, not until early-mid Feb. I am almost 10 miles inland from LIS, so I get a little warmth, but not much. I think I will start with the more crowded trees on tubing, and add the stand-alone bucket trees later. Thanks for the insights!
    2017 - 20ish taps on buckets, boiling outside in two baking pans
    2018 - 70+ taps, 14-buckets, 50+ on tubing, homemade arch from oil tank in my barn, 17 gal syrup
    2019 - same set up, 20 gal syrup
    2020 - less taps, short season, but RO kit was fantastic! 6 gal syrup and a maple cat!
    2021 - planning on expanding to 50 taps on buckets and 40 taps on tubing - goal = 10 gal of syrup

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
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    243

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    Quote Originally Posted by therealtreehugger View Post
    Sugar Bear - Thanks for the specifics - it is good to know what other maplers are doing nearby. I think I only have tapped once in Jan, but recently, not until early-mid Feb. I am almost 10 miles inland from LIS, so I get a little warmth, but not much. I think I will start with the more crowded trees on tubing, and add the stand-alone bucket trees later. Thanks for the insights!
    It would be nice to have a better feel of sugar content of the early season sap. I will bet people could have gotten a lot of sap in CT in early to mid December this year for sure. I wonder how much under 1% it would have been.

    Every year the sap suckers drill holes in several of the trees around me ( and yes most of those trees are healthy trees ) and from those trees I have developed a high tech method of determining how well the sap flows beginning from December onward when it does flow. ( look at the side of the tree below the sap sucker holes )

    I am also thinking of rigging up some modified taps into a couple of those sucker holes to get enough sap to do a sugar content on.

    That would let me know sugar content before I even drill any deeper tap holes.

    However, I may just start killing sap suckers during the early season even though it is a federal crime with a jail sentence more substantial then if you stole all of someone's money.
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Granville, PA
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    353

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sugar Bear View Post
    I am also thinking of rigging up some modified taps into a couple of those sucker holes to get enough sap to do a sugar content on.
    A refractometer will tell sugar content with only a couple drops of sap.
    Matt,
    Minehart Gap Maple

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
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    1,105

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    I tapped my early taps about two weeks ago. Sugar started at 1.0-1.2 and has been going up steadily. Average is ~1.4, but I had a run yesterday that was 1.8.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Weston, CT
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    243

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye gold View Post
    I tapped my early taps about two weeks ago. Sugar started at 1.0-1.2 and has been going up steadily. Average is ~1.4, but I had a run yesterday that was 1.8.
    Are you tapping Reds or Sugars?
    If you think it's easy to make good money in maple syrup .... then your obviously good at stealing somebody's Maple Syrup.

    Favorite Tree: Sugar Maple
    Most Hated Animal: Sap Sucker
    Most Loved Animal: Devon Rex Cat
    Favorite Kingpin: Bruce Bascom
    40 Sugar Maple Taps ... 23 in CT and 17 in NY .... 29 on gravity tubing and 11 on 5G buckets ... 2019 Totals 508 gallons of sap, 7 boils, 11.4 gallons of syrup.
    1 Girlfriend that gives away all my syrup to her friends.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Southern Ohio
    Posts
    1,105

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    sugar maples
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

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