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Thread: Open tap holes......

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    8

    Default Open tap holes......

    When should tap holes close up?
    I have numerous trees with tap holes that have not closed.
    They remain fully open 5/16" x 1 1/2" to 2" deep.
    After two years should I be filling them to keep bugs out?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    789

    Default

    They just close at the opening, there will always be a hole in the tree forever! I have a section of a tree that the wind tipped out in 2000, by counting the growth rings I could see where the tree was tapped in 1933, this tree broke so I could see the inside of two holes, both holes are 3/4 inch drilled the same year. Most certainly one bucket on a nail catching sap from both holes. I been told that trees heal slower the further you go north in America, all about the growing season, In West Virginia I've pulled spiles in March and have pictures of holes almost closed by mid May.

    Mark 220 Maple
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES
    http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/g...Maple%20Syrup/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    8

    Default

    Thanks Mark
    My holes however are just as I drilled them, no change except for discoloration. No closure at all. So if they remain open after a few years, should I fill them and with what?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Lanark, ON
    Posts
    2,292

    Default

    If they remain fully open after a couple of years the tree is in poor condition and not growing very fast. If you're looking at this year's tapholes they will still be mostly open. 2020 tapholes should be at least 50% closed by now.

    There is never a need to plug tapholes with a foreign substance.
    4,600 Taps on vacuum
    9,400 gallons storage
    3 tower CDL RO
    3.5'x14' Lapierre Force 5
    Twitter & Instagram: @ennismaple
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
    Posts
    999

    Default

    The holes do not fill in but grow over the hole. The larger the tree the longer it seems to cover the hole. Do not ever put anything in the hole.
    Smoky Lake 2x6 dropflu pans and hoods on homemade arch
    Smoky Lake 6 gallon water jacked bottler
    Concentric Exhaust
    250 Deer Run RO
    325 taps

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    Nashville, MI
    Posts
    432

    Default

    It will eventually close up sometimes it just takes longer. It depends on the tree some of mine close quickly and some you can still see last years hole. I have one tree in the yard that will close up by next year and make it tough to tell where the previous tap was.
    2004 - 2012 2x3 flat pan 25 to 60 taps
    2012 2x3 new divided pan w/draw off 55 taps
    2018 - didn't boil surgery - bought new evaporator
    2019 new SML 2x4 raised flue high output evap. 65 taps
    made 17 gal syrup
    2020 - only put out 53 taps - made 16.25 gal syrup
    2021 - going for 50 bags and 50 on tubing

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    west virginia
    Posts
    789

    Default

    Pdiamond,
    There are some West Virginia producers that have many trees that close like you yard tree, they sometimes put a paint dot when pulling taps so they don’t get near the hole when drilling the next year.
    Mark 220 Maple
    1100 taps on low vaccum, 900 on gravity.
    900 plus taps leased and on high vacuum
    35 cfm Indiana Liquid Ring Vacuum Pump
    80% Sugar, 20% Red MAPLES
    http://s247.photobucket.com/albums/g...Maple%20Syrup/

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Center, Underhill Ctr, VT
    Posts
    5,618

    Default

    Taphole closure (over the outside, as others have said, the hole does not fill in) is primarily dependent upon tree growth rate, which can vary considerably from tree-tree and from season-season. That said, closure with 5/16" spouts should take only a couple of years at most. 7/16" tapholes will be a year or two longer. Note that you can often see the mark on the bark for a long time....many years, but this is not a problem...rather is a good things since you can tell to NOT put a taphole in that spot again for a while (until the tree has grown about 2" of wood overtop the hole).
    Dr. Tim Perkins
    UVM Proctor Maple Research Ctr
    http://www.uvm.edu/~pmrc
    https://mapleresearch.org
    Timothy.Perkins@uvm.edu

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