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Thread: When do you put out your lines?

  1. #1
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    Default When do you put out your lines?

    Sorry if this has been covered before, I could not find it while searching.

    I will be running some simple lines for the first time this coming season. Do you string them in the fall just before the snow falls for easy walking, or do you do it just before the sap starts to run?

    One last question, if you have to do a zig zag with the line, do you just curve it around the outside edge of the tree, or do you have to wrap it around the tree that you are zig zagging around?

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    I usually run/repair mine about 30 -45 days before I expect to tap. Depends on how much you have to run. The down side is if you have a lot of squirrels you'll need to check for chews when ready to tap. Go ahead and install drops and plug them off. If you want to run them sooner, there's no harm, just more chance of damage.

    No need to wrap around the tree, it causes more issues than help. You want to be able to pull on lines when repairing or tightening, plus it flows better. They will be fine going around tree.
    125-150 taps
    Smokey Lakes Full pint Hybrid pan
    Modified half pint arch
    Air over fire
    All 3/16 tubing
    Southern Ohio

  3. #3
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    It's far easier to put up lines 1) after leaves have fallen and 2) when there isn't much snow on the ground.

    Don't wrap the line around trees, just support it by zig-zagging around them (and intermediate non-crop trees as needed). Some producers try to only pass by trees on the south sides if they can, the thinking being that it'll take longer for lines to thaw if they go around the north.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    It's far easier to put up lines 1) after leaves have fallen and 2) when there isn't much snow on the ground.
    And the mosquitos have quit for the year.
    Ken & Sherry
    Williston, VT

    2017 - 13 gallons on 65 taps (12 buckets, rest 3/16), 2x4 flat bottom, modified cargo box sugarhouse
    2018 - 90 gallons on 418 taps (gravity lines), Leader 30"x10' Vortex Arch & Max Raised Flue with Rev Syrup Pan, New Sugarhouse
    2019 - Burned through alot more money: heated kitchen, 2x2,000 and 375 gal ss sap tanks, CDL1200 RO, Bauch Vac Pump, More taps, etc., etc., etc.
    https://www.facebook.com/pumpkinhillmaple/

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by TapTapTap View Post
    And the mosquitos have quit for the year.
    Lol, That is for sure.

    I donít know if you get black flies in Vermont, but I guess it would be a must to remove your lines before they show up.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    I donít know if you get black flies in Vermont, but I guess it would be a must to remove your lines before they show up.
    Blackflies are plentiful in Vermont. The vast majority of tubing systems are NOT removed each year -- they remain in place. Some smaller operations may remove lines, or take down portions that cross trails, but most do not.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post
    Blackflies are plentiful in Vermont. The vast majority of tubing systems are NOT removed each year -- they remain in place. Some smaller operations may remove lines, or take down portions that cross trails, but most do not.
    Thank you for your reply.

    The problem here is my Sugar Bush is my yard and partially the neighbour’s yard. I doubt my wife and neighbours would like to see their pristine forests, woven with sap lines during the summer. Lol. We also have moose, deer and black bears that could take it down while walking through the forest.

    I can see now though that while putting it back up next winter, you would have to be pretty well dead on to line up the drops. I have a neighbour that removes his, I will chat with him on what he does.
    Last edited by Swingpure; 09-09-2021 at 10:07 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swingpure View Post
    The problem here is my Sugar Bush is my yard and partially the neighbour’s yard. I doubt my wife and neighbours would like to see their pristine forests, woven with sap lines during the summer. Lol.
    You could take down the lines that are in the yard, but leave the lines in the woods up. The grey lateral line barely shows up.


    We also have moose, deer and black bears that could take it down while walking through the forest.
    Surprisingly they don't. Deer and bear will go around or under. Moose will go around. The only issue is if a moose gets spooked it might run through it, but that is actually pretty rare. More likely is that they'll chew on it a little to test if it's edible. After that they mostly will leave it alone.

    I can see now though that while putting it back up next winter, you would have to be pretty well dead on to line up the drops. I have a neighbour that removes his, I will chat with him on what he does.
    Some producers will use spray paint to mark on the trees where the lateral lines go (a line on the side where the tubing goes) and use different colors for adjacent lines. Not sure how that is any prettier than leaving the lines up. I'm sure others here can chime in about how they manage when taking lines down each year.

    Regarding your earlier question .... the type of "flies" tell us what season it is:
    1. Blackflies = late spring
    2. Mosquitos/deer flies = summer
    3. Leaves flying = fall
    4. If the snow "flies", then winter or early spring.
    Last edited by DrTimPerkins; 09-14-2021 at 08:07 AM.
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrTimPerkins View Post

    Regarding your earlier question .... the type of "flies" tell us what season it is:
    1. Blackflies = late spring
    2. Mosquitos/deer flies = summer
    3. Leaves flying = fall
    4. If the snow "flies", then winter or early spring.
    Sounds like we are pretty similar.

    As a general rule:
    black flies are from May 15 - June 15
    Deer/horse flies from June 15 -July 15
    Mosquitoes come and go. They are mostly bad at dusk.
    Around July 15th there starts to be a drop off in the deer flies and horseflies and as August proceeds, they become rarer and rarer. September is virtually bug free other than some mosquitoes and the very, very odd black fly that returns.
    Stable flies show up on four or five intermittent days of the summer.
    Snow that stays is around November 10th. The last three years the snow reached itís peak on February 27th exactly, then snow amounts receded. Every year is different, especially now with climate change. I am not sure if climate change for the maple syrup business will be a good thingmor a bad thing. Will it shorten the season, or just have the season start earlier, or will it prolong the season.

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