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Thread: When is it too early to tap?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eighty Four, PA
    Posts
    30

    Question When is it too early to tap?

    The weather man gave a long range forcast yesterday to the End of January. Starting at the end of this week we are going to get below freezing temps at night and above freezing temps during the day. I have always made it a rule to not let the weather man dictate my plans but....the idea of these temperatures is starting to make me feverish. Has anyone ever tapped as early as January here in SWPA? Will that make for a short season or no season at all because of a mistake of tapping to early? When is the best time to put your taps in?
    Nancy and Mike
    Our first time tapping, Spring 2009
    24 taps, (1) 2'x3' pan, Sugar shack in Development stage.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Deerfield NH
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    Heck I was looking at the long range this morning and friday to next wensday we are looking at 35-45 highs, heck if I was ready I would stick in a few taps.
    between sugarhouses, just a small cog in the ever expanding Spring Harvest Maple empire again this year
    275 on vac, Rv2 surge pump
    50 on gravity

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Lyons,NY
    Posts
    373

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    It's going to take a week of above freezing weather just to let the tree warm up. There frozen just like every thing else. You can tap in January they say it doesn't hurt to have the taps in and when it runs it runs. The early shut down of holes is do to bacteria if it's cold the bacteria isn't going to grow and shut down the hole. If it runs you have sap if not, it's not a big deal. Look back at times people in your area started last year. search taping PA
    100 taps
    Percheron draft horses
    Back out side and to small of
    an evaporator!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    east kingston, nh
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    believe me we are all probably itching to get out there. I can see the sugar house from the kitchen window its just down the driveway a bit and I see all tubbing through the woods everythime I look out there I see it, I get excited then sigh because I can't do it yet!!!!!
    may your sap be at 3%
    Brad

    www.willowcreeksugarhouse.com
    27 gravity, 64 buckets, est. 500 or so on Vacuum for 2014. maybe add 100 for 2015.
    Welsh 1397 vein pump and a Lap mech vert releaser
    2x6 ss phaneuf Drop flue, Leader woodsaver blower, homemade hood
    New 200 amp service to the sugarhouse
    300gph H2O RO
    husquvarna 562 XP..... just awe-some!!!! Love it!!! worth every penny!!!
    less than10 monthsuntil the start of the 2015 maple season

  5. #5
    Jax Guest

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    aunt stellas gardens, you and I are falrly close. I'm just down the highway in Wheeling!

    Yeah, the forecast looks tempting. I'm seriously considering tapping sometime this coming week. Unless there is a good reason to NOT tap, I'm thinking "why not?" I don't have too many trees, anyway.
    Last edited by Jax; 01-12-2010 at 01:15 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Uxbridge,Ma
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    196

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    I'm going to tap 12 or so on Thur. just to test it out.
    27 x 66 homemade arch
    10 taps 2008
    200+taps 2012 (180 will be SS)
    5 years and going strong and looking to get bigger

    2005 John Deer Gator w/a trailor and 130 tank


    www.facebook.com/blackstonevalleysugaring
    http://www.blackstonevalleysugaring.org/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Eighty Four, PA
    Posts
    30

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    Hi neighbor (Jax)
    I just may put a few taps in and see what happens. I was just worried if I put them in too early then I would somehow compromise the hole. I'll give it some more thought and wait for someone to give us a reason NOT to tap. Lack of trees is not my problem, but working the season into an already existing 40 hour work week IS the problem. Using cinder blocks as the arch (I think that is the term, still just a fire chopper) and the sugar shack is still a dream. Is it getting warm in here?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    NW Wisconsin
    Posts
    680

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    As noted, the only downside to tapping early is that your trees start to heal the tap hole. It may be very slow at the beginning, frozen days, but the potential is there.

    That is the tension, because the taps will only be good for so long, especially if using old taps. If you have new taps, you could be more agressive.
    Jeff Emerson
    www.emersonsmaplehill.com
    3x12 Leader with over air, custom piggyback, 600gph CDL RO
    2700 on 24" vacuum in 2013, +1800 buckets (buying sap)
    350 big bear wood hauler, Husqvarna!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Killingworth, Connecticut
    Posts
    175

    Default starting early

    I am in southern CT and 2 years ago I tapped the last week in Jan. with great results. I watched the weather and when they said serveral days in the high 30s low 40s I tapped and got great runs and made very light syrup and ended up pulling my taps 6 weeks later they were still running strong. Last year I tapped in Jan. it took several days for them to start running and again I had great runs and then I stopped boiling and they were still running. I like light syrup so I tap early and pull my taps early when it starts to darken. I always thought if someone has a small pan and more trees than he can boil at one time one could tap 1/2 the trees early and 1/2 later and stretch out the season longer than 6 weeks.

    Nathan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Polk, PA
    Posts
    1,295

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    Aunt Stella's,

    If I lived where your at I'd tap. I'm about 80 miles north of you. I will wait because it will not be that warm up here. You've said you have a lot of trees and you don't put in too many taps. Worst case, tap some more trees. If you don't have a lot of time, this cold weather will allow you to hold your sap until you can boil. I've had my taps in for 10 weeks and they still run.
    136 on high vacuum for 2013
    60 taps on 3/16" gravity tubing
    A&A 2X8, raised flue evaporator
    hood, parallel flow pre heater and air over fire
    BAT mobile back in action
    12X28 sugar shack

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