Trees are Tapped

Fun is a word that we use a lot at Fulton’s. When you work the long hours that we do at this time of year, team members have been known to become slightly delirious… Laughing and having fun together helps to remind us of what’s important and where our priorities are. We hope you enjoy our farm update from March 2020.

Mother Nature gave Scott the nod to start tapping trees so he assembled the team and got things moving. As the tapping crew works through the sugar bush they let Scott know where there are fallen trees, which can stretch and sometimes break the pipeline. Using tracked ATVs and GPS technology Scott can identify where a fix is required and easily travel with all the equipment needed. This map shows the location of our pipeline system.

Each spring when the weather forecast calls for days with above freezing temperatures and nights with temperatures below freezing, the trees must be tapped anew.

  • Tapping consists of drilling holes about 5cm deep into the trunk of the tree. A plastic tap / spile / spigot is inserted into each hole.
  • The taps are connected to pipelines (the blue plastic lines you see connected to our trees) which lead to the pumping stations.
  • There are 5,800 individual taps in 2,000+ trees on our property.
  • Fulton’s has 45 to 50km of pipeline!
  • Fulton’s is not on a hillside, therefore a gentle vacuum system is needed to bring the sap along the lines to the sugar camp.
  • Taps are removed each spring after the sap run.
  • Sugar Maple trees can be safely tapped at about age 35-40, or when the diameter of the trunk reaches 40cm. A larger tree can support more taps.
  • The amount of sap drawn does not harm the tree and many maples can be tapped well past 200 years of age.

Below, the tapping crew is ready to hit the trails. Nana has stocked their prep room with snacks and water to keep them energized and hydrated for the work at hand. And powered by Fulton’s Maple of course!

Miles and miles of trudging from tree to tree keeps these young men fit! Often spring tapping simply tires them out and they require a nap and some dog therapy. When that happens, Team Awesome gets called to the rescue!

Author: Fulton's Sugar Bush & Maple Shop

Our family has been tapping majestic sugar maples on our farm in Pakenham, Ontario since 1840. We are proud to nurture a strong connection to our forest, our customers, and our community. We enjoy working together and crafting quality products in small batches with love for you.

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