Friday, October 29, 2010

Tapping maple trees

One of our maples

Twenty-one and six.  We have twenty-one red maples and six sugar maple trees on our property that are over 10 inches in diameter.  We set out to mark them last weekend because we would really like to make maple sugar next year and we wanted to do so before the leaves fall off.  Apparently, you can tap both sugar and red, which is good because we have quiet a few red maples.  The problem however may be that we can't tap here because we are too warm.  Sap in trees is actually a starch but in the winter months when the temperatures are just right the sap turns to sugar and this is when it can be tapped.  The temperatures have to be below freezing at night and above freezing during the day for the sap to flow.  This usually happens in February and March up North and the sap will for for 4-6 weeks.  Knoxville might be too warm though.  So far we can't find anyone around here that taps maples which probably means we can't do it, however I did find some historical references mentioning how maple syrup was important to settles in East Tennessee.  I guess we won't know until we try.

The treehouse in our woods on our walk to mark maples

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