Can I Give Maple Syrup To My 1 Year Old A Guide to Extracting Sap From a Maple Tree

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A Guide to Extracting Sap From a Maple Tree

How can you deny that rich, luscious, deep flavor of fresh maple syrup? You can cook with it, bake with it, make sweets with it and even garnish your pancakes with it! Maple syrup has been around for thousands of years and continues to be a highly sought after treat.

Perhaps that’s why so many people are interested in learning how to extract their own sap from maple trees to make their own delicious maple syrup. If you’re one of those people, keep reading to find out what you’ll need, what to expect, and some tips for getting the best results when extracting sap from maple trees.

What do I need?

To get started you will need a clean 5 gallon bucket with a lid, a tree spigot or “spile”, a power drill, a 7/16 drill bit, a hammer or mallet, some rope or string and tape. If you don’t have a power drill, you may be able to use an auger instead. You can buy all of these materials and many more materials related to sap extraction at any local DIY or garden store.

Here are some important tips:

Most trees produce sap, but only certain species produce sap that really tastes good. If you are looking for maple syrup, go for sugar maple or red maple.

Do not use a copper shaft. Copper can be toxic to trees and plants.

The trees produce sap all year round, but the best times for extraction are between February and March, and September and November.

Tap trees when outdoor temperatures average around 40 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no lower than 20 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

Wait until the maples are at least a foot in diameter before tapping them. A tree of this size is about 40 years old.

If the sap is flowing well, you’ll need to check your container several times a day to make sure it’s not overflowing, unless you’re using a larger bucket. A 5 gallon bucket will probably require only one examination per day.

How to tap a tree:

1. Mark your drill bit at 2 ½ inches with your masking tape. You only want to drill that far into the tree.

2. Find the side of the tree that faces southeast.

3. Drill a hole at a slightly upward angle, 2 ½ inches into the tree.

4. Use your twine or rope to tie your bucket to the tree under your faucet.

5. Clean the bark debris from the hole and insert your spear or faucet.

6. Tap the spile the rest of the way into the hole using your rubber mallet or hammer.

7. Collect your sap daily.

8. Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.

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