Maple Tapping

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We tap our maple trees in late-January / early-February after several days of consistent weather where the daytime temperature is above freezing and the nighttime temperature is below freezing. The process includes: drilling the tap, collect sap in jugs, transfer them to storage bins, evaporate, seal, and package. We currently run 20 taps resulting in an annual output of 6 mason jars.


It is usually easiest to break this out into a 2-day job. The PA Maple Forums provide insight into the timeline others are following each year in respect to the weather. You are in good shape if all tapped in by the NHL ASG. Always drill on the Southeast (?) sunny side. Drill holes made year after year in the same tree should vary in height. Problems you may include: breaking a drill bit, needing to re-tap bad tap-jobs later.
- 20 taps (spiles & hoses)
- 3/8 in drill bit
- drill & battery
- hammer

Sap Collection & Storage

Collecting sap is usually done once a day, twice a day during heavy flow. You'll save yourself time/steps if you bring 2 buckets with you. Depending on how fast it is flowing, 20 taps will fill up 2 storage bins fairly quickly. Sap will typically keep for 10-14 days (?) and ideal storage temperature is below 32 degrees (?). Problems you may encounter include: sap leaking out of storage bins, protecting your sap from sugar-loving animals and rodents.
- 2 sap collection buckets
- 2 sap storage bins & lids
- 2 garbage bag liners
- 20 jugs
- 20 caps with holes