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Thread: Mainline spacing for high production.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
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    Vermont
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    Default Mainline spacing for high production.

    What are the most recent mainline spacing recommendations from UVM? Does anyone have a link to recent research?
    Thanks in advance.
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- adding 500?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    N.E.Ohio
    Posts
    139

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    We have been installing very close on our 1” mainlines. The go to was always 150’ so the laterals could go 75’ each way. When doing that the rolls of 5/16” would go fast. Now we have switched to installing more mainlines much closer together. It all depends on layout of the woods but on my woods and a recent other install, we went with 75’ apart. This helps keep the lateral runs straighter, shorter, and we only put 2-3 trees per lateral. We dont have any official research or calculated numbers comparing it, but the results and sap output have been amazing. The money saved on shorter runs of 5/16 offset the price of the extra mainlines.
    Kevin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Peru, Maine
    Posts
    712

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    Look at your woods and do some tap counts. Check distance for 5-6 taps per lateral on each side. A dense area could be less than 100’ but it might make sense to spread that out if the maples are spotty. Definitely better to be too close than too far apart. You’ll probably find it will vary some and you won’t have one number for all areas if it is a sizeable bush.
    270 taps on 2 Shurflo's, 34 taps on 3/16" and 120 taps on gravity. 424 total for 2021 season.
    Mountain Maple S3 controller for 145 of the vacuum taps
    2x6 Darveau Mystique Oil Fired Evaporator w/ Smoky Lake Simplicity Auto Draw
    Wesfab 7” filter press
    IBC totes in the woods, 800 Gallon CDL bulk tank at the shack

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    northern n.y.
    Posts
    261

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    If you research current standards the goal has been changed to 3 taps per lateral run for the efficiency of high vac transfer to the tap. However there is always a couple of runs with 4 or 5. I am currently setting up a new woods and running app 90' between 1" lines with1 1/2 wet dry. 3 taps per lateral.
    Last edited by lmathews; 01-17-2021 at 09:54 AM.
    3x12 D&G Champion, 1100 taps w/27" of vac.New in 2013 600gph RO. 10 buckets for the kids.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,330

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    The replies already given are correct. Mainline spacing is dictated by the woods (density and distribution of taps and the lay of the land), with a goal of keeping laterals straight, tight, downhill and with 3-5 taps per lateral, keeping in mind the "strive for 5 (or even better "3"), no more than 10 taps per lateral line." Typically the wet/dry lines run straight up the hill, spur mainlines run off across the slope (maintaining a 2% slope on them), and laterals mainly run mostly downhill. This is for a pumped vacuum system.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Vermont
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    248

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    Thanks for confirming what I was thinking.
    2016- 50 buckets. Made 4 gallons
    2017- 100 buckets, 50 taps on 3/4 mainline and 3/16th tubing + shurflo vacuum. Made 30 gallons.
    2018- 1000 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, 60 buckets - made 378 gallons of syrup.
    2019- 1713 taps on 3/16 + vacuum, NO buckets. Made 500 gallons.
    2020- 2793 taps made 1118 gallons.
    2021- adding 500?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Essex VT
    Posts
    374

    Default

    When I was getting organized to set up 2,200 new taps at my remote woods, I had a survey map that I used to analyze both types of mainline layout. The traditional layout required 12,600 feet of 1"mainline up slope
    off the wet dry system. These 18 main lines were space 150'-160' feet apart to allow a maximum 75' lateral length. The recommended system of main lines (which I wanted to install) running across slope with laterals running down slope into the 1" mains would have required 19,800' of 1"mainline with 52 cross slope lines 280' long with 100' spacing. I installed ball valves on each of the main lines with vacuum gauges to check for leaks. So because of the expense of the all the extra 1" main line, wire, ratchets, tension grips, valves, vacuum gauges, ss fittings, and labor, I went with the traditional layout.

    Joe
    2004- 470 taps on gravity and buckets
    2006- 590 taps on gravity and buckets 300 gph RO
    2009- 845 taps on vacuum no buckets, 600 gph RO
    2010- 925 taps on vacuum new 2 stage vacuum pump
    2014- 3045 taps on vacuum, new 1200 gph RO
    2015- 3104 taps on vacuum
    2017- 3213 taps on vacuum
    3' x 10' oil fired evaporator with steamaway

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