Its been a busy 2 days at the Don’s Sugar Shack store. Lots of excitement and people getting ready to tap and that are tapping. Early reports have been that some trees are running a little bit, but most have not started yet. Trees in full sun, southern exposure seem to have the most sap in the buckets or bags. There have not been any reports of full bags of sap or even half full bags. So no big sap run yet.
I think I am going to start tapping next weekend, which seems a little early yet from the calendar perspective . In my opinion, waiting till the end of next week will give the trees a chance to thaw out and if the 10 day forecast looks favorably warm on Thursday, then I definitely will start next Friday or Saturday. If there is a cold snap though, then I think I will wait for the end of that cold snap putting us at March 14, 15 time frame.
When tapping the trees with the 5/16 ” drill bit, make sure you drill in a straight line and slightly upward. If hold the drill or pull out the bit at an angle the bit will instantly snap off. The thickness of the shank at the flutes is less than 3/16 of an inch, so they break easily. This usually happens right at the beginning of tapping. Also, the tapping bit flutes are sharp and they will tend to “Pull” the drill bit and it will actually seem like the bit is screwing itself right into the tree. So go slow at first. I always feel sad when I break a new 21.00 dollar drill bit on the first or second tree.
Enjoy this beautiful sunny day