Making Maple Syrup
Down2erth I was just commenting on what I saw as a jab at someone who was following good practices. I respect everyones opinions including yours. I would like to know how leaving a tap drip into a bucket stresses a tree more than pulling the tap and letting it run down the trunk. The sap is going to drip out either way until the tree shuts it down.
The stress is made when you drill the hole. A 7/16 hole will leave twice the wounding area of a 5/16 but will only give about 10% more sap. If I am missing something please let me know as I am always willing to learn more.
Down2erth - The problem is that you made incorrect assumptions (I assume you directed it at me). The sap didn’t run out of the trees cloudy, it got cloudy from sitting in the heat while I was not there. Most of it was there on Sunday but I didn’t have time to boil. It was clear at that time. Of all my trees, I saw one budding now (it was not last week). I can still find snow, last week it was knee deep yet. It didn’t even really start to run decent until last week. Started to run good and switched right to summer.
Now if I were to look around my home by Mosinee, guys have been done for weeks already. Apples to oranges though. My friends were dumping it because they were sick of it and had enough.
That said it wasn’t real cloudy and made pretty good syrup yet. Half I collected was clear, just what baked in the sun turned somewhat. My stuff is now cleaned and put away. It pretty much quit running before budding for me this year.
I guess you have a right to your opinion J & D as do I. I have been around making maple syrup for probably 40 years at the small scale level. But have been fortunate enough to be around many through the years that know a great deal in the do's and dont's in harvesting and the cooking of sap. I know for a fact that the harvest of cloudy sap and a continued harvest of trees in post bud stage will cause the trees to be stressed because of it. But as I say, JMO.
There was a huge difference in the season between the northern and southern parts of the state this year. Some in the north only boiled 1 or 2 times and made very little while some southern parts had record years. As far as if the sap runs down the trunk or into a bucket will have no affect on tree health. Cloudy sap can make some very good syrup as long as it does not go too far.
Got back up to check what my sap looked like. Guessing by the looks it ran Sunday and Monday. Dumped a few buckets that were in the sun but overall better than expected. Little cloudy but I’ll boil it yet. Hopefully get it done tomorrow and then be ready for fishing. May not hit my goal but close enough all things considered.
Hoping I get one more boil next weekend, but if not I should have enough. I made about 2 gallons this past weekend and it was running great today. All my trees started running Saturday, prior was hit and miss. The snow in the woods finally softened up, maybe that helped. All happening way too late though.
I didn’t see any open buds by me yet but the temps suck now until the end of the week. Kind of expecting the sap that ran today to be spoiled by Thursday afternoon but will hold out hope due to the snow in the woods yet. Boil or no boil I’ll be done next weekend.
Syrup I have is a nice light color. I had a little more than 3% sugar in the sap.
This guy kept me company all day.