Collecting Maple Tree Sap for Syrup

We are so excited to be making our own maple syrup this winter from our lone maple tree in the backyard! However, all of the articles we find take you through the making and storage of maple syrup, but we can't figure out how we tell when to remove the taps and be done for the season?

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I've seen one article that references "budding", but does that mean actual green buds or bumps forming that will become what I consider "buds"?

Thanks for any help!

By Melissa

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March 5, 20120 found this helpful

You remove the taps when the sap no longer flows.
Tapping the tree - The flow of sap is highly dependent upon weather conditions. Flow does not begin until after a time of hard freeze, followed by several sunny days with temperatures in the 40's. The peak flow occurs early in the sugaring season when it freezes at night and is bright and sunny the next day with the temperature in the 40's. The flow will stop when daytime temperatures do not go above freezing, or when night temperatures do not go below freezing.

The flow usually lasts roughly three to four weeks. While it flows, collect daily the sap, preferably late afternoon. If the trees are tapped too soon and flow does not begin, it is possible that the holes will seal over and subsequent flow is inhabited significantly. The holes may have to be re-drilled in this case.

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March 7, 20120 found this helpful

My reference book I received with my supplies also mentions that the sap will turn pale yellow or bright yellow, which is not suitable for syrup.

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