First Day of Tapping completed

We put in 1400 green food grade buckets yesterday with another 1100 to go today.  It went so easy this year as the CDL brand buckets were light, durable and they separated easily.

The sap was not really “running” yesterday,  .  Oh dont get me wrong, there was some dripping,  but at the end of the day only a couple of inches in the bucket.  These next few days should warm up the trees and the that will get the sap going.   I will be out tapping again today and will not be at the store till 2-3 pm today.    I am here now until about 9 am, then our crews will head out.

Its going to be a glorious day here in the St. Croix River Valley,    get outdoors and enjoy it!!!  This is what we have been waiting for    SPRING!!!!



Warm weekend coming

It looks like we will begin tapping this Friday and Saturday.   This still seams early to me as it is only March 7, but next week looks very favorable.  I was out in the woods all day today, setting up storage tanks.  The woods were very cold, and there was no sap dripping for the little tree branches. Tomorrow  it’s going windy, but warm. Reports from people that tapped last weekend said sap is running but not great.  Bags I’ve checked in the Taylors Falls area are less than a quarter full.  Next week will be different story though given the 50 and 60’s this weekend.

Since I will be tapping on Friday and Saturday, getting supplies at the store will be a bit challenging,   if I’m not there I can be in 5 minutes, so give me a call.    Have a great rest of the week and will see you this weekend for supplies.  I am open on evenings and Sunday afternoon as well.



March 1st, A beautiful Sunday

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