Jars of Fresh Maple Syrup Cooling

Mature Sugar Maple Tree With Taps

The "Grandfather" Maple Tree

Hickory Tree Tapping

Initial boiling of sap in a large stainless steel vat

Close up view of a spire dripping fresh hickory sap into a collecting bucket

Critical final temperature increase

Attaching Bucker Under Spile

Attaching Metal Rain Guard

Drilling Hole For Spile

Fresh Spire Dripping Sap

Hammering Spile Into Trunk

Maple Syrup Production at ThunderCroft

As January comes to an end it's time to tap the maple tree for sap.  Holes are drilled into the maples and a device called a spile is hammered into place.  Sap flows from the spiles during periods of cold nights in the 20's followed by warmer days with temperatures exceeding 40 degrees fahrenheit. Sap is collected and taken back to be boiled down into thick maple syrup.  Patience is needed because it takes 40 gallons boiled to make one gallon of maple syrup.  With a good gas fired burner and a large boiling pot in place, it's pretty much an all day process.  The pictures below will give you a feel for the process if you haven't seen it before.