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How to tap maple trees to make your own maple syrup Pg2

This is page two of the article. If you missed the first plage, please read it here: 

How to tap maple trees to make your own syrup


Trees should be tapped on the south side a few feet from the ground, preferably above a large root or below a large branch.  Stay about six inches from any holes from previous years.  If using more than one spile, space them evenly around the trunk.  Using the appropriately-sized bit, drill at an upward angle about 2 to 2-1/2 inches in.  If using a hook for your bucket, insert the spile through the hook's loop then into the tree.  If using hose as an extension, it's easiest to connect the hose to the end of the spile prior to inserting into the tree.  Once this step is complete, hang the bucket from the hook or put the hose into a hole in the lid of your bucket.  


The hardest part is now done.  You should be able to see the sap flowing into your buckets immediately.  The amount collected each day will vary, but it should be transferred daily into clean food grade jugs, like those used for water, tea, or juice, and stored outside in the snow or in the refrigerator at no more than 38 degrees.  Unless storing in the freezer, the sap should be used processed within 7 days of collecting, or it will spoil.




Sap can be collected until the temperatures reach above freezing during the night, as well as the day, and buds begin to sprout on the trees.  At this time, spiles can be carefully removed with pliers, cleaned and put away.


Experiment with different types of equipment and ways of collecting to determine your preferences.  Spiles come in both metal and plastic, as do the buckets.  Also, as mentioned, the buckets can be hung directly from a spile hook, or hose can be used as an extension to a bucket which rests firmly on the ground.  By the time you've decided what style you like best, you'll be hooked. 


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