To make your own maple syrup, you must begin by preparing your own maple tap equipment to use in harvesting the finest maple sap. However, this is simply not enough. There is also a need for you to know and understand what maple trees are and which maple tree is already ready to be harvested. So, here are a few steps to guide you on preparing to harvest maple saps at home.
Knowing The Maple Seasons
One of the questions that maple tappers ask is about the best time the maple saps are harvested. You may want to mark your calendars on maple tapping any time before February or March. These months are the times when maple sap starts to flow out naturally from maple tree barks.
Identify And Mark The Maple Trees To Tap
Mapping out the maple trees in your yard is the best way for you to mark which maple trees are there and which ones are ready for tapping. This is best done during the summer or fall breaks when the leaves are still attached to their branches. However, there are still ways to identify maple trees when their leaves are gone. It is best to understand from here that not all maple trees are the same. Some have higher sugar content, and some come in different sap colors.
Prepare Your Tapping Equipment
For those who would be doing this the first time, here are some of the equipment needed to collect the saps.
- Bucket – This is used to catch the maple saps during tapping.
- Lid – This protects the sap from any outside object that may fall inside the bucket.
- Drill Bit – This is used to drill the tap hole from the maple trunk.
- Spile – This is the passageway of the sap to the bucket.
- Hook – This is where your bucket is hanged.
- Cheesecloth – This serves as a filter for your saps and makes sure no solid particles like tree barks enter the bucket.
Most of these are already in your own household. If not, you can visit the nearest general merchandise stores for these items or you can buy them online.
Once you have all preparatory equipment needed, it is time to insert the spile into the maple trunk, which should have a diameter of 12 inches to signify that it is a healthy maple trunk and hook in your bucket to catch the flowing sap from the tapped trunk.