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Early Season Tapping Maple Trees & A Gift Arrived

I have been tapping maple trees early this year due to an early warm spell that began already in January. I am still working with the Bedini Motor restoring lead acid batteries. And a beautiful gift arrived at the off grid homestead.


Since it turned warmer in mid January I was considering tapping a couple maple trees to see what would happen. Now I wish that I had tapped them all earlier. When I tapped a tree the other day the sap began to flow heavily. This was a surprise to me since most people do not tap their maple trees until mid to late February after the real spring thaw begins and winter has mostly lost its grip on the land.


Last year we had a mild winter and an early thaw. By the time the "normal" maple syrup season had begun, the temperatures were above freezing at night most of the time and very warm during the days. Maple sap flows best when the nights are below freezing and the days are above freezing. But it has to be a longer spell of these cycles or the trees will remain deeply frozen. A couple warmer days here and there will not bring sap.




Last year the maple syrup harvest was very bad for most people around here due to the unusually warm weather.


Since we had a mild year again this year I decided to test a few trees. Anyway, as I said, the sap was flowing heavily. So I am tapping all my trees right now in order to get as much early season maple sap as I can. I figure that I can start collecting sap now when we have warmer weather and even if it freezes for a while again, I will still be ready early.


Early season maple tree tappingEarly season maple tree tapping


I was running back and forth between the greenhouse and the maple trees all day. I would set up a bunch of taps with tubing and water jugs and then take a handful of them out to the maple trees. There I would drill a hole in a tree, set the water jug and tap the spout into the tree. I would go from tree to tree until I ran out of tap and jug sets. Then go back to the greenhouse and make a bunch more.


I alternated the work like this for a couple reasons. It was cold outside and not as cold in the greenhouse. This gave me warm up spells while cutting and drilling to prepare the jugs and tubes. It also gave my hands a break because pressing the taps into the tubing is hard work and was giving me blisters.


As I was tapping trees the sap was flowing nicely on this day. I collected ten gallons of sap in some jugs under trees I had tapped the other day. Some of the trees I was tapping today were already flowing well and I collected another five gallons of sap at the end of the day.


I figure I have about 60 or more taps into the trees out there already. I figure that I have about 12 more taps to put in before I am done. And this does not yet count the black birch trees that I plan to tap this year as well.


I think this is going to be the best maple syrup harvest I ever had.

A package arrived in the mail at our post office box. We picked it up today and Melanie opened it on camera. There were two very nicely made buttons in the package that we first found. Then Melanie read the card which talked about framing a family portrait. There was a hand drawn full color portrait of Melanie and myself plus the two cats. This was very well done. We appreciate it a lot. Thank you so much. And yes we are going to put it into a frame.


The Off Grid Project buttons

The Off Grid Project buttons

Hand drawn family portrait

Hand drawn family portrait

You can watch today's video here: Tapping Maple Trees & A Beautiful Gift Arrived


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Troy Reid


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