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Thread: Moving to MA

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    121

    Default Moving to MA

    Hello!

    My family is moving to Massachusetts from Pennsylvania this summer and I am hoping that I can continue this fun hobby after we move but I'm concerned about where I'm allowed to tap. Here in PA, I have plenty of trees to tap right in our neighborhood on land owned by our HOA.

    However, we're learning about the joys of MA wetlands and how many houses have wetlands on the property. I know you can't build on wetlands without permission but are you prohibited from tapping those trees as well? For example, one house we're seeing backs up on a small wetland conservation area so some of the maple trees might be on the property but in wetland area. Then there's a huge area next to it that's not listed as wetlands but is empty forest and I can't figure out who might own it. Of course I'm always happy to ask any future neighbors if I can tap their trees but I don't want to get myself or them in trouble by tapping trees I'm not allowed to touch.

    Is there a site where I can find out more about regulations and guidelines? Right now we're focusing on homes in Middlesex and Essex counties and my Google-Fu is not bringing up anything that is useful, any help that can be sent my way would be appreciated so I can continue making syrup for my family and friends!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Pepperell, MA
    Posts
    27

    Default

    Hey helptheold, 100% of the trees I tap would be considered in or on wetlands so if there are any restrictions I've just outed myself. I've never heard of any limitations as far as tapping trees, I think if you started building a sugar shack or digging post holes and someone found out they could cause you grief. You may want to find "right to farm" towns as they would probably understand that sugaring is an ag practice that should be encouraged. Let me know where you end up.
    2018 - 5 reds on buckets with cinder block arch
    2019 - 25 reds on drops to buckets
    2020 - 55 reds on drops to buckets
    2021 - 80 reds on drops to buckets

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2020
    Location
    Springfield, MA
    Posts
    61

    Default

    Hi Help.

    As a general rule you can tap anywhere unless it's the State DCR land. The DCR has a great Forestry team you can call and talk to and they will walk the property with you as long as your the owner (or with the current owner's permission if your buying land). The link below has a map at the bottom with names and contact info for each county's forester so give them a call with any questions. I've walked my uncle's land with Chris tagging sugar maples and talked with Tom about a specific property for sale and advice on what towns to look in for land with good maple tree quantities. Should be a good place to start any googling.

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/service-forestry
    2020 - 2 taps, 1/2 pint on a turkey fryer, About 3/4 pint syrup in two weeks - Proof of concept!
    2021 - 20 x 30 divided pan, custom Mason arch, 34 producing taps out of 50. 8 gallons for family and friends to judge and Dad hooked as well.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Savoy, MA
    Posts
    376

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by helptheold View Post
    My family is moving to Massachusetts from Pennsylvania this summer
    First, let me offer my condolences.

    I can't stand this State...gets worse every year. But that's a whole different topic.....

    If you truly want to be able to continue the hobby, I would be sure to just buy a home with land and your own maples. DCR land, Trustees of the Reservation land, State parks and state forest, town parks, etc...will all be off limits to tapping. Relying on the neighbors comes with all kinds of problems....what if they change their mind? Or sell?
    Last edited by bigschuss; 03-06-2021 at 06:44 AM.
    16x24 Timber Frame Sugar House
    Mason 2x4 Evaporator
    90 trees on buckets

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Princeton, MA
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Welcome to the Commonwealth! Here's a handy site for finding out who the property owner is, for any parcel of land in MA. Just get permission from the landowner. Public land or conservation land can be more problematic, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

    Dave

    https://massgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps...1676ad9fc56ae9
    Mountain Maple farm
    2020: 207 taps, 60% red maples. Mountain Maple S3 diaphragm pump controller with automated sap transfer
    New website:
    https://www.mountainmaplefarm.com
    https://www.facebook.com/MountainMapleFarm/

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
    Location
    chester, ma
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Biz View Post
    Welcome to the Commonwealth! Here's a handy site for finding out who the property owner is, for any parcel of land in MA. Just get permission from the landowner. Public land or conservation land can be more problematic, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

    Dave

    https://massgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps...1676ad9fc56ae9
    This is great, thanks for posting!

    GO
    2016: Homemade arch from old woodburning stove. 2 steam tray pans. 6 taps on buckets. 1.1 galls
    2017: Same homemade evaporator, but souped up. Still 2 steam tray pans. 15 taps on buckets. 4.5 galls
    2018: Same setup. Limited time. 12 taps and short season. 2.2 gallons
    2019: Still very limited time. Downsized to 7 taps and a short season. 1.8 gallons
    2020: 9 taps, new Mason 2x3 XL halfway through season, 2 gallons
    2021: 18 taps. Mason 2x3 XL, 4.5 galls

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Hudson NH
    Posts
    62

    Default

    I would echo Bigshuss, If I could go back in time I would have bought a place with its own trees. I now tap about 50, only one is one my property. It has worked out well and the neighbors are great but as was noted you never know what will happen in the future. They can sell or worse want to get into the hobby themselves. I also switched to tubing on most of my taps this year everyone was fine with it but I have to take it all down at the end of the season something I would not do if it was my own. Just something to think about. If you can find the right place with the trees etc I'd lean in that direction. If you cant find it in Mass we are always looking for more tax payers in NH. Good luck!

    19x48 mini pro oil fired
    6x12 sugar house off back of shed
    2019- 50 taps all buckets- 6 Gallons syrup made
    2020 -50 taps, more Sugar Maples, with some Reds- 6 gallons made
    2021- 46 taps- 26 on 3/16 tubing, 19 buckets - All Sugar Maples this year - 12.2 Gallons made
    Two kids one patient wife
    "The days are long, but the years are short"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Thank you so much everyone! Given that buying a house is a cutthroat business these days, I have no idea where we'll end up and getting land with our own trees is low on the need list (good schools, space for all of us, and commuter rail access is at the top). But it's good to know that tapping on wetlands (with permission if needed) is ok.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Aaron Stack View Post
    Hi Help.

    As a general rule you can tap anywhere unless it's the State DCR land. The DCR has a great Forestry team you can call and talk to and they will walk the property with you as long as your the owner (or with the current owner's permission if your buying land). The link below has a map at the bottom with names and contact info for each county's forester so give them a call with any questions. I've walked my uncle's land with Chris tagging sugar maples and talked with Tom about a specific property for sale and advice on what towns to look in for land with good maple tree quantities. Should be a good place to start any googling.

    https://www.mass.gov/service-details/service-forestry
    That's so helpful, thank you!!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    Posts
    121

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Biz View Post
    Welcome to the Commonwealth! Here's a handy site for finding out who the property owner is, for any parcel of land in MA. Just get permission from the landowner. Public land or conservation land can be more problematic, but it doesn't hurt to ask.

    Dave

    https://massgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps...1676ad9fc56ae9
    I was looking for something like that, thank you!!

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