Preparing for the season,
In late February we head for the sugar bush to check the main lines and maybe dig them out of the snow. Next the lateral lines have to be rolled out and fastened to the main line and tied to the last tree of each line. We still take our lines down each year. This allows for a thorough cleaning and increased life time the tubing, to keep it from being exposed to the elements all year long. The lateral lines are 5/16" tubing and have an average of 6 spouts per lateral line where they have to be placed the year before because no two trees are the same distance apart.
Once the lines are secured then it is time to tap the trees. The season usually starts by mid March and is over by the end of April. This time varies because it is all reliant on the weather (mother nature) I like to tap during the first run. this allows the fresh sap to clean the newly drilled hole. The first run is usually weak in sugar content, so we use it to flush the lines. We tap trees larger than 10" diameter at chest height. One tap per tree up to 20" and two taps over 20". The tree has to be 30" plus and also in good health for three taps. Tapping is done with a battery drill. The 5/16"hole is drilled about one inch into the white sap wood. Once the hole is drilled the spout is tapped into place.