The Cheap and Easy Way I Tap My Maple Trees for Sugaring (video)

Hi everyone! I’m trying something a bit different today. We’ve been fortunate to have sunny and gorgeous weather around here the past few days, which means that it’s time to tap maple trees for sugaring.

This is the fifth year that we’ll be making maple syrup as part of a community effort that involves three properties, nine core households, and a fair number of visitors. We tap 32 sugar maples that surround our house.

While we use traditional metal spiles (taps) and buckets in the neighbors’ woods, we have a cheap-and-easy set up at our house using a lot of free and borrowed materials: plastic spiles and short segments of tubing lead to 4-gallon buckets placed on the ground. It doesn’t get much easier than this:

We’ll be tapping the remaining trees this weekend and collecting sap for the next month or so. This is always one of my favorite times of year because it gives us something to do and a reason to be outside during that last bit of winter that can so easily lead to cabin fever. Stay tuned for updates!


Posts on how to make maple syrup:

Our woods on a sunny day in mid-March: perfect for tapping.

Mud Season: Maple Season

After another long and cold winter, it’s finally warming up. And we’ve been hard at work at our new mud season tradition: making maple syrup. Last  year, our neighbors’ started a bit of a community sugar bush, and it was a learning experience. This year, we know a little bit more about what to expect and our expanding.

Tapping Weekend

We tapped 32 trees on our property about a week ago, right before the first warm up. Then, this past weekend we expanded about 125 trees on two other properties.

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Drilling a hole.
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Inserting the spile.
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A tapped tree (with sap already running).
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Putting the bucket on the tree.

Want more maple goodness? You can check out the cookie recipe too!