You can supply your families need for pure Maple Syrup from just a few Maple trees in your yard or that you have access to. If you have never had pure Maple syrup before you will be in for a real treat. I’ll walk you through all of the steps to produce your own Maple Syrup and it is so good!
- Select a tree to tap. Any maple tree will work. Soft maples work very well in the urban/suburban environment. The sugar or hard maples have a higher sugar content that the soft maples. Most of us know the soft maples by their size, they are usually quite large so you can get multiple taps per tree. A large mature urban tree can have 4 taps in it that will produce a minimum of 1 gallon of sap per day. A good rule of thumb is to tap a tree until it is at least 12″ is diameter. Select a location above a major root approximately 2-3 feet above the ground level. Avoid 6 inches within a previously tapped location. A gallon of sap a day sounds great does it not? Well, it is approximately a 40/1 ratio of sap to finished syrup.
- You will need to drill holes in the tree to insert the taps. Here are the type of taps I like to use. One is a 7/16 size tap on the left and a 5/16 size on the right. The tape on the drill bit is for how deep to drill the hole in the tree.
- After you get the hole drilled in the tree you will need to lightly pound the tap into the hole to seal the sap from leaking out.
- Next step is to connect tubing from the tap to a 5 gallon bucket. I use 5 gallon buckets so I don’t need to empty them as often. Any clean food grade bucket will do. Make sure it has a cover so you don’t get debris in the sap. You may need to put a weight to top of the bucket to keep from blowing over.
- I will explain how to concentrate the sap into maple syrup in a different article.
- 7/16 taps or 5/16 taps work well for me.
- Use 5/16 tubing to go from the tap to the bucket available here or 3/8 tubing from Menards here, it fits looser, but works if you go straight down to the bucket.
- Taps & tubing is available from Amazon here