Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Sugaring 2013 – The First Taps of the Season Part 2

Saturday night I checked the 10-day forecast on Wunderground and proceeded to get very nervous and anxious.  Apparently this is a common trait among “Maple Sugarers”.  The 10-day forecast was showing a warming trend starting Friday February 8th.  This trend included  40-degree highs with 20 degree nights from February 8th into February 12th.  This is ideal weather for sap flow and with the potential of the first big run a week away I felt a sense of urgency to get some taps in.

I made up 10 drop lines, using some tees and two lengths of tubing, 30” and 36” long. I also found out I needed to make sure the tubing covers both barbs of the fittings that I was using.. Apparently this is important when you put tension on the lines to help prevent the line from pulling out when under tension.  I had read about using hot water to soften the tubing prior to pushing it onto the fittings, so I figured I would experiment with this a little prior to heading into the field.

IMG_000221st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 012

1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 006

We cut the lateral line, readied the hot water, and my trusty assistant put his end of the line into the hot water to soften the tubing.1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 019

We kept the line in the water for about 30 seconds to heat up.  We then removed the line quickly and pressed it onto the tee fitting on the drop line.  We did one side at a time.

1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 020

Finished drop line in place, only 49 more to go…

1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 024

The first tap in place and connected to tubing, not as exciting as I would have hoped, because I realized the drops may work better with right angle taps…

1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 072

The first of seven taps on tubing that we completed.  It was a chilly Sunday, and the temps seemed to stay in the low 20’s all day on the north slope of our hill, so unfortunately no sap was flowing.

1st Attempt at Tubing 2013-02-03 076


February 5, 2013 - Posted by | Sugaring | , , , , , , ,

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