In February, while the snow is deep and the temperatures stay below freezing, we start tapping the trees to be ready for when the sap starts to run.
The trees need to be at least 25cm in diameter before they are mature enough to tap, which takes about 40 years. A tap is an 8mm hole drilled into the tree, allowing sap to flow out and be collected for sugaring.
Most of our trees are over 100 years old and some are more than 300. The rule is 1 tap at 25 cm, 2 at 45 cm and 60 cm for three. Even if a tree is much larger than 60cm, we do not add more than three taps to protect the health of the tree. We connect the tap to the tubing, which runs down our hill to the collection tank at the sugarhouse.