The sap has been flowing quite nicely over the past few weeks and Jon’s new setup has worked SOOO much better than last year’s method.  This silver maple however is the only one showing us any love.  It was the opposite last year with this tree hardly producing and the other one doing all the work.  I’ve been trying to research why some trees may not produce certain years…can you tap the same tree every year?…nothing I researched said otherwise, but still unsure.

We’ve been cooking up 5 gallon batches at a time and so far we’ve canned 4 quarts of syrup which is twice as much as we were able to collect last year with our late start. We may get one or two quarts more but the weather is giving us indicators that it may soon be time to close up shop.   The syrup is unlike anything else and well worth the effort.  It’s certainly not a difficult process…just a timely one….you simply pour the sap into a pan and boil it down…each of our 5 gallon batches seems to take about 6 hours each time.

Look at how different the coloring of the syrup is from the earlier taps to now.  Taste seems to be the same throughout though.  Being it’s our second year, we were a bit better with things and I only wish I had more maples to tap!

Did you know you can also tap Birch and Walnut Trees for sap/syrup? I don’t have any birch trees, but we do have a few Walnuts….will have to try it out next year and see what it tastes like.

Fun, Fun, Fun! Yes, indeed.

Cheers!

michele.

 

  1. Debora says:

    I am fortunate enough to live in a woods. We have walnut and maple trees, but no sugar maples, always thought they were the only one you could tap. Nice to know that isn’t true, thanks.

  2. Michele says:

    Good stuff, everyone! I’ll definitely be trying the walnut trees next season as I too am curious….Marilyn…your taps are at a height of around 3 feet from the ground….Your tree needs to be 12 inches in diameter before you can tap it and if it’s larger than 20 inches, it will support 2 taps. The folks over at http://www.tapmytrees.com are very helpful, as well. That is where I’ve purchased my spiles and they have great information available for everyone. Sugar maples are great, Debbie…the ones in my yard are silver maples and the taste is slightly different…a bit more of a caramel flavor over maple, in my opinion…..if I were to plant some more, I’d probably add some sugar maples. And yes…it’s VERY EXCITING…every year.

  3. Debbie Keyworth says:

    Im going to the local nursery to pick out a sugar maple . I want to have a tree I can tap for syrup. Any suggestions on which type of maple. I thought a sugar maple would be good because the size isnt too big. I have a large yard but would like to keep it smaller in size. Please help me pick a tree. Thanks so much.. This is very exciting.

  4. Ed Fry says:

    I do volunteer work for our local nature center. I’m sad to say we only have one week left of Maple Syrup season. We have school field trips come out several time a week. I get to intrepid both the Native American, Pioneer and sometimes co-lead depending on how big of class and the other volenteers. I can’t believe this is my forth year, I never stick with anything that long! LOL. We tap between 30 and 40 trees each year, mostly the old way with metal buckets, lids with good old metal spiles put in with a drill and spile driver. These are my favorite school programs as they seem a little less structured. We generally produce 5 or 6 gallons of syrup depending on the weather. With the warm winter we have had it will be interesting to see how much of a change in production. The center does use the syrup through the year for pancake breakfast during special community programs. Oh yea, and we volenteers get a pint to a quart for our efforts. Yum!

  5. Deborah says:

    my husband & I have been “backyard sugaring” in central Michigan for 6years. It’s all been trial and error! One thing you do not want to do is boil sap inside your house! Unless you want to re-do your walls. As for where to tap your trees, look for a big branch on the south side of the tree and tap below it. We tap about 2 feet off the ground so we don’t have to lift heavy buckets. Our first year we used the turkey fryer to boil sap since we didn’t have any other means. It worked very well. Now we us a stainless pan over a firepit.

  6. Felita says:

    We tapped some trees this year. Boiled down the sap and got some really yummy syrup. I do think we have to cook it longer because it is watery. Tomorrow is the Maple Festival in Hebron CT and we will be going. Hoping to learn some tricks from some experts.

  7. Julia in West Des Moines says:

    Yes, you can tap the same tree every year. The Indian Creek Nature Center, outside Cedar Rapids, has naturalists with whom we tapped in 2001. Our silver maple (minimum 12″ diam.) produces every year. We do one spile per year. Move up in a spiral fashion above last year’s spot.

  8. gail lore says:

    i love it. every year i try something new. last year it was luffas. did well with the few we got. i do want to know what the walnut sap would taste
    like.

  9. jonnie says:

    You inspired me to try it on the HUGE maple in my backyard. I’ve been doing small batches on the stove in the house as my gas grill isn’t working and I don’t want to burn down the neighborhood. First two batches I reduced too far and got maple sugar.. which is SO GOOD. Last night I finally got it right and have SYRUP! You’re right, it’s amazing. Next year I’ll start earlier. I estimate I got around 30 gallons of sap this year:)

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