First maple tree sap of the year

This is Day 2 of starting a new hobby of trying to make maple syrup at home from the two silver maple trees in my backyard.

I tapped each tree yesterday, thinking that today (Sunday) and Wednesday-Thursday might be good days for sap–based on info found online.

It snowed and then rained last night, as the warm weather came in. It was 37 degrees Fahrenheit when I checked my trees.

Tree # 1 showed no signs of sap running.

Tree # 2, on the other hand, did have sap running. I’m officially in the maple syrup making business…er…hobby.

Here is an image of the first maple tree sap of the year.

first maple tree sap of the year

At the risk of over-explaining, there is a lot of moisture in the image above. It was raining, slightly, when I took the picture. So the bark is wet, there are raindrops on the outside of the maple tree tap and dropline, but inside the tube, you can see the drop emerging from the barbed spout inside the tube.


Not too bad for a guy who grew up in a big city. Okay, the tree is doing most of the work, but I had to make a hole and tap it :).

What are the weather conditions

So, the sap is running in one of the two trees in my backyard.

Here’s an update about the weather, at this point.

It warmed up last night to about 40 degrees, with a lot of rain.

Things are about to get cold for two days, but then those next two days look like they might be good days for sap, before it gets cold again.

As you can tell, I don’t know what I’m doing yet–just sharing what I did and my rationale for the sake of documenting it so I can get better over time (and so that you can start off smarter than me…or I…smarter than both of us).

A few unanswered questions

The good news is that I have collected the first maple tree sap of the year.

The other good news is that I now have a few more things to figure out:

  • Why is the maple tree sap running in Tree # 2 but not Tree # 1?
  • What do I do with the little bit of sap collected?

Why is the maple tree sap running in one tree and not the other

I’m not sure. Hoping the second tree, which admittedly does get less sun, because it is partially shaded by the house, is just behind the larger tree in terms of development. Although I suspect there may be something I did wrong.

If you know, please leave a comment below. As I find or figure stuff out, I’ll share with you.

What are my plans for the sap I collect today?

One complication about my  ‘get started early this year’ strategy is that I’m not sure what to do with the lame-duck amount of sap I collect today.

I fully expect the sap to stop running (appreciably) within a few hours, once the temperature drops below freezing

I’ve read you should keep sap only for 2-3 days–but that it’s okay if it stays cold/frozen. I’m not sure exactly what to do.

What do you think I should do? Please leave a comment if you have a guess, an opinion or a question. Thanks!

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