1. Can I mix my box elder sap with my maple sap?


2. What do I plug the tap hole with?

Nothing, it will heal best with no help

3. Should I disinfect my tap hole with Alcohol?

No that could kill cambium cells and slow healing

4. Should I disinfect my drill bit with Alcohol after each hole?

That would be fine but unnecessary

5. Why do some trees run later than others?

Mostly depends on timing of microbial contamination of each tap hole

6. Why do some trees not run at all?

A maple tree may have limited access to water, damaged or unhealthy roots, sections of the trunk may be dead, or you did not tap deep enough when there is very thick bark. Most other species do not run sap that will come out of a hole in the tree.

7. What makes the sap a brown color coming out of the tree?

Usually tapping into rotting word in the tree or old partitioning from former taps

8. Should I put my taps in last year’s hole?


9. Do I leave my taps in year around?

Pulling taps right after the season will allow for the best healing

10. How many taps per tree?

For long term availability of good tapping wood in the tree one tap for every 36 inches of circumference

11. What is the smallest tree I can tap?

Any tree can be tapped but for sustained production begin taping when trees are 10 to 12 inches in diameter

12. How come the really big trees do not run?

Very slow growth on old trees can leave the spout blocking the outer most growth rings where most sap runs, may need to tap deeper if the bark is very thick

13. Why does the side of the tree get wet around my tap?

The tap hole is not round, or spout is not hammered secure, it is not unusual to get a little wetness around the tap, but it should be small and not last long

14. How much sap to make a gallon of syrup?

Depends on how sweet the sap is but typically 20 to 80 gallons. Trees with bigger crowns and more light exposure are often sweeter

15. What is the right method to use Jones rule of 86 or 87.1?

Either will put you in the ballpark, 87.1 is a little more accurate

16. Should I always tap on the south side of the trees?

No, use the whole tree or in time you will not find clean white wood on the south side

17. When should I tap?

Depends on where you are and how many taps you have to put in, small operations can tap by the weather forecast, bigger operations are more likely to start tapping by a date

18. Should I tap under big limbs?

Yes, and all the way around the rest of the tree as well

19. Does sap run down the tree or up the tree?

Both, up early during a freeze and down when the sap is running

20. Where does the sugar come from?

Starch stored in the roots and wood of the tree