Backyard Sugarin

It's that time of year again, when it freezes at night and gets fairly warm in the afternoon. That's when Maple trees run. Maple Sap flows from roots up into the tree in the warm part of the day, and back to the roots as it cools. It's when its running up into the tree that we try to capture it. Here is a Maple Tree Spile (tap) with a hose hanging off, going into a collection container.

Last year I used simple PVC parts instead of spiles, they left large scars on the trees. This fall I ordered inexpensive Maple spiles on eBay. The smoother end goes in the tree and I used the barbed-end either with a collection hose or jammed into an old milk jug.

Here's my backyard Silver Maple with three spiles drilled and pounded into the tree. I've run hoses from each spile into an Culligan 5 gallon plastic water carboy.

Here's a closer view of the hoses going into the carboy. I used some old Suran Wrap to keep bugs and other undesirable crap out. 

Here's a view of the whole setup on my Silver Maple in the backyard.

For the smaller Sugar Maple I only used two spiles, and I used empty milk jugs for collection. After I drilled the trees I just drilled a small hole in each jug, the pushed the jug onto the barb. I knew that along wouldn't hold as the jug fills and gets heavy, so twine holds the jug up via a nail above.

To the right of this years spile you can see the scar from the larger hole I drilled last year. The spiles work much easier than the PVC fitting, and will leave minimal scars compared to what I used last year.

Here's a view of the whole setup on my Sugar Maple in the front yard. Unfortunately the jugs don't show well against the white snow everywhere.

Now I just need to talk a couple neighbors with large Maples to allow me to tap. They'll probably want syrup if the allow me to tap.