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Category: Trees

Double-Tapping To Suss Out New Spiles

This year we’re replacing the vast majority of our “health spouts” with the new valved sap adapters, in the hopes that they’ll extend the season and give us the gift of additional maple syrup. Being the skeptical sort, we’re taking 30 or 40 trees and double-tapping them so that we can see if indeed the […]

Maple Trees Down Due to Wind

I usually find a good excuse to be late with my line cleaning, but this year’s is a good one. Ellie and I will be having our first child in early September. Preparations for that have been soaking up what would otherwise have surely been very productive procrastination from cleaning my lines and packing maple […]

Strafford Maple Syrup Property Permanently Conserved

For the past few years, we’ve come to be friends with Sue Baker, the woman who owns the sugarbush we rent in strafford for making maple syrup. We’ve built up that maple syrup business from the 700 taps her late husband sugared up to about 2,000 today. All along, we’ve been working with her to […]

It’s Fall, Time to Run Lines to Expand the Maple Syrup Operation

Common sense may say otherwise, but fall is the time maple syrup makers’ minds turn to thoughts of making even more maple syrup. They see beautiful yellow lines of sugar maple trees yet untapped for lack of that one last roll of 5/16th inch line last year. Over the summer, the memory metastasizes into schemes. […]

In Maple Syrup Biz, Big Log Pile Means Security

Having a big log pile reminds me of being 16 back when I had my dad’s car and had just filled up the gas tank. So many options; so much potential. I have that feeling now as I look across the street from my house at this big, honking pile of hardwood. We took about […]

Adding “New” Maple Trees

They aren’t really new trees. Average age is perhaps 75, and ranging between 40 years old and 150 years old. Probably half of them have been tapped before, a few generations ago in the days of horses and buckets. But to me they’re new, and they seem to be multiplying as I’m running line to […]

Reader Question: Untapping Trees

Reader Question: This was our first year making maple syrup with our 3 children, 3 and younger. We started late in the season but successfully made 2 gallons from two 100 ft sugar maple trees on our property. I tapped the trees with plastic spiles, 7 in total. Now that the season is finishing, do […]

Sap Day’s Eve, and All is Mayhem

Yesterday warmed, and today we should be getting a good run, provided the wind doesn’t come up and knock down the sap. We took advantage of the slow flow yesterday to do some more sugarhouse fiddling, including getting the water going (more below) and arguing about how we should move maple syrup from the evaporator […]

The Forest Tapped; Maple Syrup to Come

Saturday we tapped the Hubbard Hill bush. Five of us teemed over the hill, putting up 500 taps into holes we drilled into the trees. That night I moved the tapping equipment – mostly power drills with extra batteries and rechargers over at the Strafford bush in preparation for tapping on Sunday. Driving over with […]

2008 Ice Storm Coats Sugar Maple Bush

We got off easy, but I hear folks down south didn’t fare so well. This picture (below) shows the rime of ice covering all the twigs and branches of the lower part of our sugar maple forest in Strafford, Vermont in December 08. This picture is at about 800 feet of elevation. We got lucky […]


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