We are going on a Jungle Adventure! OK not really we are looking for healthy maple trees. Why are we tromping through the forest looking for Maple trees you ask. That's because if we don't find and mark them now while they still have there leaves me and the girls wont be able to find them when it comes time to tap them. That's right we are going to explore the world of Sugaring.
In case you are not familiar with Maple Sugaring. Its is a process where you extract sap from a Maple tree and boil it down to make Maple syrup or sugar. Its quite a lengthy process and must be done when the nights are below 32 degrees and the days are above 32. That is the prime time for the sap to begin flowing in the trees. You only have about a 6 week window to collect your sap. Unfortunately there are no leaves on the trees during that time of year. So that means you either have to tromp around in the forest and mark your trees before the leave fall off in the fall. Or you have be able to identify the trees by the bark or the branches. I can identify a maple by looking at the branches but when the branches are 10 ft or more above your head they are kind of hard to see. So me and the girls have spent the last two days tramping around in the woods with a can of bright orange spray paint.
During this Maple tree finding process we have discovered several things. First of which is that before we bought the property someone logged it and when I say logged I mean they basically clear cut it. I figure it was about two generations a go judging from the tree growth we have now. Thankfully they left enough trees so that they could reseed. The only trees that have been cut since then are the dead and damaged trees we take down for fire wood. So far we found 4 good candidates for tapping. We have also marked the saplings and Maples that are still too small for tapping. We marked them because when we begin clearing underbrush this winter we want to be sure we save the maple trees for the next generation. Second of all me and the girls learned that we need to do some serious brush clearing this winter. We ventured to the back side of the property where hardly anyone ever goes. The saplings and underbrush has gotten so thick I had to leave the girls on the other side of the creek so I could hack a path big enough to get through just to mark the tree.
So this winter I will be clearing paths to the Maple trees. I will clear a paths for both the ones that are ready to tap now and the ones that we will probably tap in the future. I may even bribe the girls into helping.
Stay Tuned for our Maple Sugaring adventures!