How to Tap a Maple

06 January, 2015

As we begin our 2015 Maple Season, we wanted to show everyone just exactly what it looks like to tap a sugar maple tree! You can tap any variety of maple tree but we mostly tap Sugar Maples which have the highest concentration of sugar in the sap.

Dubie Family Maple uses trees on natural Vermont woodlands and has over 47,000+ tappable maple trees on 700 acres of land. We are a Certified Organic Producer and this includes making sure that trees in our woods flourish naturally and healthy. 

It is important that the trees are large enough to be tapped. They must be over 9 inches in diameter to protect the health of the tree. Maple trees utilize the sap to aid in growth and leaf production in the spring. Sap is the sugar rich nutrient which is boiled down and made into syrup. Very large trees can be tapped more than once and some more mature trees can be tapped up to three times!

Each and every tree is tapped by hand using a drill to put a small hole about shoulder height and about two inches deep into the tree. After the hole has been drilled a spout is inserted into the hole and tapped with a hammer to make sure that it is securely in place. The spout is where the sap from the tree flows from and leads into our tubing and pipe lines. These lines are all on vacuum pressure and lead back to the Sugar House.

The sap will not flow until later in the spring when the weather starts to warm up consistently above freezing. As you can see from the video below, it takes a while to tap each tree by hand. We have to start early in the year to make sure we get all 47,000+ trees tapped before the sap starts flowing.

In the video below you will see Nate Dubie, the Operations Manager for Dubie Family Maple, tap a tree and explain how to do it!
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