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We bought our new home three springs ago. Two springs ago in the middle of March I was doing a chore outside and realized that the large maple tree was dripping on me, despite the fact that all of the snow had melted off of it. I realized it was sap.

 

So I drilled a hole and pounded in a tube from our kids marble game and sap started dripping out.

 

We have three of these trees in our yard so I drilled and pounded in two more tubes. That was a Saturday. By Sunday night we had gathered seven gallons. So we got our large turkey roaster and started boiling. We took in more sap and it took awhile, but by Tuesday we had a half gallon of real maple syrup. We also did it last year (with actual taps) and we’re doing it again this year. This Monday we finished the boiling down to finish our first half gallon. We hope to get more.

 

Some comments:

 

- The experts say that it takes 40 gallons of sugar maple sap to make one gallon of syrup. Our trees are silver maples, not sugar maple, and these officially require more boiling. But we have found that boiling 20 down to 1 ratio results in syrup that is thick enough.

 

- If we actually wanted to save money, we should build a fire and use that for the boiling. Perhaps in later years.

 

- Maple sap runs primarily when the temperature is below freezing at night and above freezing during the day. We have not had a lot of those days. It’s been too warm. I find myself wishing the crazy wish that it would get colder for a little while. Please don’t curse me for this.

 

- It’s a good project for kids. My oldest especially likes to go around to the trees twice or three times a day to collect the sap.

 

- One thing we learned is that you should not pour cold sap into the boiling pot. This stops the boil too quickly and we think it gives it a not so great tasting aftertaste.

 

- We have been told by neighbors that these trees were planted in 1895 for a road that used to go through our backyard.

 

- Real maple syrup tastes good.

 

 

Photos By Carl (Or Oldest – Age 11)

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