Quality Hardware has been selling Leader maple sugaring supplies for several years. And I have been tempted every year to try my hand at it. This year I am giving in. I have one large silver maple in my front yard and am going to try tapping it. Later in the year, when I have collected some sap (if I’ve collected some sap), I’ll try turning it into maple syrup. When I do that, I’ll post the results.
The Right Tree and the Right Maple Sugaring Supplies for Tapping
The best kind of tree for maple sugaring is the sugar maple that is around forty years old and at least ten inches in diameter. If it is in the open (as opposed to in a forest) where there are no other trees, it will produce more, sweeter sap. I don’t have a sugar maple. So, I’m tapping a silver maple. My tree is over sixty years old and about two feet in diameter. I am using a 5/16 inch bit to drill my hole. Quality Hardware carries the Tree-Saver bit designed to do less damage to the tree when tapping. I’m also using a plastic spout designed for hanging a bucket. We carry spouts for tubing collection, for more ambitious hobbyists and commercial application. But I only have one tree. So I’m going with one bucket.
The Right Time for Maple Sugaring
Right now it’s actually too early to start tapping. The sap doesn’t start to flow until the daytime temperatures are above freezing. But I wanted to get this video out before that happens. In our area (Saratoga and Washington County, NY) You should probably wait until mid February to start tapping your trees. But to the best way to not miss the start of the season is to check the extended forecast every day, and start tapping when you see the daytime temperatures hit 32 or above. The time to stop collecting sap is when the buds break out on the branches. When that happens, the sap’s sugar content drops and the taste becomes bitter. – Andy