Maple Tree Tapping
Today we drove up to a nature center in
Maryland that taps their maple trees and makes yummy maple syrup.
First a small hole is drilled into
the tree trunk and a spigot, called a spile, is inserted. See
the sap dripping? It's clear. A bucket is hung from the
spile and a lid is slid onto the bucket.
We got to sample some of the sap.
We decided that it tasted like very watered down, flat Sprite.
The kids got to carry the buckets of sap
down the hill using the yoke.
The sap was then added to the boiler.
It must boil and boil and boil to evaporate off most of the water.
As the water is evaporated, the sap
gets thicker and starts to look golden brown.
We all got to sample some of the
maple syrup that was made on site. Yummy! We compared it
to store bought maple syrup and this syrup was much better! It
wasn't nearly as sweet as the store bought one.
It takes 40-50
gallons of sap to make one gallon of maple syrup.
Tapping does no
permanent damage to the tree. Only 10% of the sap is
collected each year.
Each tap yields an
average of 10 gallons of sap per season, yielding about one
quart of syrup.
Warm sunny days and
frosty nights are ideal for sap flow.
The maple season may
last 4 to 6 weeks, but sap flow is heaviest for 10 to 20 days.
The custom of collecting maple water
and boiling it to create syrup comes to us from the Native