A 2,000 tap record!

We put in 2000 taps, hung the buckets and placed lids in a day and half, new record for us.  The sap was literally running into the buckets.  I think we timed it just right with the colder weather forecast through April 8th.  Sugar has been running 3.5 to 4% in the St. Croix Valley.  The batch we collected today was all at 4%.  If you tapped your trees at the beginning of March or Late February and not getting any sap you could re-tap.   Simply pull the tap out,  redrill the same tap hole carefully as to not make an oval hole when redrilling and set the tap back in the same hole.  This will remove any bacteria and freshen the tap hole for the sap runs that will be coming next week.  I will be out collecting now most mornings 830am to noon and 4-6pm.  I will be home, available to sell supplies noon to 4pm and evenings.  As always best to call and I can leave your supplies out for you to pick up even if I am not home.

Remember, we are all in this together,

Have a great week.
Don

The first run

Most people have tapped their trees and have had a good early sap run on Sunday March 6th.  Reports are about 1 gallon per tap and not all trees were dripping yet.  This warm spell through March 15 is not good news but the long term trend from March 15 to March 27 looks excellent with some snow flurries included in the forecast. People tapping silver and red maples may have a short season as I have had reports of some bud break.  I have held off tapping our 2000 buckets in hopes for fresh taps for this late March cold snap. We will begin to tap Friday. I don’t believe the sugar maples will bud out as it will dip into the 40’s by Monday.  Syrup is light in color so far. Sap has been reported to be between 2.5 and 3.0 percent.  Definitely better than last year’s first run.

I do carry most types of bottles, and filtering supplies as you begin to cook more.
Call ahead for any order and I can leave it out for you if I am out collecting or tapping this weekend.

Be safe around those hot evaporators.

Have a great weekend,

Don

Warm weather tapping

Well, the warm weather has certainly peaked the interest in getting in the woods, tapping and getting ready for the 2016 season. The 50’s that we experienced recently, one would have thought that the trees are ready to tap. The people with tubing have already begun and many are done. They can tap early because their systems are closed to the atmosphere and the tap holes are sealed with the tubing system. The bag and bucket brigade for people like me must wait. If you tap too early the tap holes will dry up and you may not get any sap.  This happened to me on a woods that faced to the north, was on a lake and the trees were not thawed out yet, and the frost was still in the ground. 250 buckets out and nothing the entire year for that woods. Oh well, it was a learning experience.  I talked to a person who tapped 3000 already and only a couple trees were dripping.
The long term weather is calling for cold the first week of March then warming up about the 13th of March.  I will be waiting until about March 10-15 to tap and hang my 2000 buckets.  Once you tap, there is only a 3-4 week window of time that the tap holes are good.  Once you drill the hole the tree begins to heal the wound. This is the time though to get your equipment in order, make sure your evaporator is in good shape, perhaps check for cracks in fire bricking and mortar and clean those flues in the flue pan. I do carry fire brick and mortar patch. I am looking forward to a good year and if weather forecasts hold, the middle two weeks of March looks excellent. It will be a great season.
I have plenty of supplies on hand, the blue bags and bag holders are the most popular and most economical for those starting out sugarin’. Its great fun for the kids if you have a couple of maple trees in the back yard to tap. They will always remember that. Have fun and enjoy the anticipation.

Don

Oh … and if your curious as to whether the sap is running, solve the mystery and tap one or two trees!