Because of such a long hard winter, the weather didn’t permit us to tap our Maple trees till March instead of February! On the other hand because of all the snow, more water was in the ground causing the trees to have more sap flow in them.
This year we tried an experiment tapping Red Maple and Sugar Maple to see if their was any difference in taste or looks. We wanted to tap twice as many Red Maple as Sugar Maples because we had heard that Red wasn’t as sugar-concentrated. Unfortunately, the store we ordered our spouts from was out of stock. Michael, David and I ended up putting twelve taps in Sugar Maples and eight taps in Red Maples on the 13th of March. Last year we left the taps in for about four weeks and harvested just under 100 gallons of sap. But this year we left them in for only one week and we harvested around 150 gallons of sap! Though two big sap producing Sugar Maple trees fell down last spring in a wind storm, we managed to find replacements.
When the harvesting time had ended we calculated that the Red Maple trees produced about 5 gallons per tree totaling 40 1/2 gallons of sap, boiling down at a rate of 80 to 1. The Sugar Maple averaged 9 1/3 gallons per tree totaling 112 gallons of sap, boiling down at a rate of 55 to 1. After 99 hours of boiling every drop of the150 gallons of sap it all came out to equal 3 gallons of pure maple syrup.
This process would have been impossible if it wasn’t for everybody’s help hauling sap to the house, taking shifts through one night (because of the overload of sap), and watching the sap boil so that I could take short breaks.
“The desire accomplished is sweet to the soul”