Tuesday, February 28, 2012

How to Inexpensively Tap Maple Trees

Posts In Series
How To Tap Your Trees (It's easier than you think and it doesn't cost a lot of money)
"Maple Tree Projects" a free eBook of Tree related assignments for home-school or traditional classes.
How To Turn Sap Into Syrup
How To Can Maple Syrup

It's Tree Tapping Time Again, and it doesn't have to cost a bucket of money.  In fact tapping your own trees is the cheapest way to get real (oh so good) maple syrup.

When I informed my family and friends last year that I was going to tap my maple trees they all looked at me funny, like I was some sort of tree hugging hippie : ) They were probably even afraid that I might start voting democrat! Their funny looks disappeared however when I gave them cans of real Maple syrup.

Hippie Jokes aside, this week I'll share what I've learned from tapping my trees last year.

First you need to identify your trees.  Lucky me, I have three trees in my yard and one in my parent's yard perfect for tapping.

Second, you need to buy your supplies.  This is of course the most expensive part of tree tapping.  The cheapest way to tap your trees is to  buy the spiles and hooks and then use clean milk jugs to collect the sap. Amazon has  4 Spiles and Hooks with Step-by-Step Instructions for $16.95.  I was able to get my spiles from a local Mom and Pop hardware store for about the same price last year so you might want to call around if it's getting later in the season.

There are of course a lot of other accessories you could buy, but they aren't truly necessary, but some of them do make your job a little easier, particularly metal buckets.

Third It's time to tap your trees, you'll need a drill bit either 5/16th or 7/16th inches, I've used both.  Drill at a slightly upward angle, about 2 inches deep.  The exact measurements needed will be determined by the size of your spiles. Measure your trees to determine how many spiles it can safely take.

Finally it's time to boil your sap.  Unless you have a sugar shack (like my great-grandfather had) chances are you'll be doing it indoors.  Of course it's ideal to boil sap outdoors over a fire, but it isn't necessary.  I'll share what I learned about this tomorrow.

This is one of those projects perfect for homeschooling families, or families that just like a lot of pancakes.

I highly recommend visiting Tap My Trees if you're considering this project, they have a wealth of information available.

So who's with me?  Any other tree huggers? I mean tappers.  Leave me any questions you might have and I'll try to address them.

Click here to find out about my Free E-book "Maple Tree Projects".

2 Free eBooks For Subscribers
"The Value of a Praying Mother" &
"Maple Tree Projects"


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