Maple Tapping 2019

It was just too damn easy for the amount of excitement it gave! It’s a child-like joy. There’s something so very right about it all.

Today I tapped my Black Maples. With an initial investment of just over $100, I received supplies for 3 taps; more than enough for just me and mine but there is that temptation to keep on tapping!

With two versions of instruction booklets, I read and reread the instructions. Perhaps it was because they sounded too easy, I doubted whether I understood them well enough. But, after a while, all I could do was go out there and try.

This is what I kept in mind:

  • Tap on the South side of the tree.

  • Since I had multiple maples, I decided to only place one tap per tree.

  • Drill in at a slightly upward slant about 2” - 2.5” deep.

  • Drill under a large branch or above a large root.

  • Look at shavings. If dark, that part of the tree could be damaged. Shavings need to be light colored.

  • Clear the hole of shavings. (For me, the sap began to drain immediately!)

  • Tap in spile with a hammer and secure the bucket and lid.

That’s it folks!

Did you hear the heavenly dripping? That was literally less than 2 minutes after tapping. It flows faster than I expected. As much as I want to tap every maple I can find on my farm, I am trying to be conscientious of what is “enough.” With my available time and resources, more than the 3 taps and I’d end up wasting this precious life-giving fluid. That would be shameful.

I hear maple water is good to drink and for making tea and coffee. I will report back on my experience with it as soon as the first bucket is full! Yes, I do intend to boil a batch down into syrup but much depends on Mother Nature. I am grateful for whatever is my portion.

I tapped maple trees y’all!!

P.S. I was nervous about keeping up with the flow of maple water but the flow slows significantly as the temperature drops. My first day, from 2PM until 9PM, I collected nearly two full buckets. From 9PM until I checked at 7:30AM the next morning, there’s not even enough to coat the bottom. I’ve since been told that the day’s flow is very much dependent upon the night’s chill. I’m so grateful for my wise and generous neighbors!