What hurt our maple production this year...

written by

Sandra Ressler

posted on

March 23, 2023

One thing that happened this year is that we used the wrong kind of
taps.  There are regular taps, which are good when using bags to collect
the sap.  Then there are the check-valve taps.  These are better when
using a tubing system to collect sap into a central barrel or tote.

The check-valves keep sap from flowing from the line back into the tree
during freezing and thawing.  When the sap flows back into the tree, it
brings natural bacteria which causes the tree to begin healing (or
closing up) the tap hole.

We usually use check-valves, but this year we accidentally got the wrong
ones and didn't realize it until we were on the way to the woods to begin
tapping.  No time to drive 40 minutes one way to exchange them!  So we
used what we had.

The one on the left is a check valve.


This means that with all the freezing and thawing, the tap holes sealed
up early and we lost some production.  However...we added about 150 taps
this year, so that made up for some of the loss.  So...how many gallons did
we end up with?  185...and for a reference point, we've averaged about 200
the last few years.  Lesson learned!  Next year we'll make sure we get the right

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