Maple Tree Care

  1. Tapping Maple Trees for Syrup

    How to Tap a Maple Tree for Syrup:

    Learn how to use a "Spile" to tap into your maple tree to harvest syrup from the tree and make your very own delicious home made syrup.
    1.  Get a syrup spile, drill, and the correct size of drill bit.
    2.  Drill at an upward angle into the tree, deep enough for the spile.
    3.  Hammer in the spile and attach the bucket.
    4.  Cover the bucket to protect from the elements.
    5.  It is best to do this early winter when daytimes are above freezing, and nighttime is freezing.

    Transcript: Here I am, I'm about to install some maple spiles, which here is one of them right here. I'm going to install this into one of my silver maple trees which is on my property.

    I'm going to use a drill with a 3/8" bit. You want to take the drill bit, and drill into an angle that is facing upward, and drill into the tree. Put the drill down.

    There is the hole and we are going to hammer the maple spiles. So most of them have a hook on them at the bottom, to hang the bucket. And aluminum foil to make a makeshift cover, since I don't have a proper cover for the bucket, to keep the rain, water, and snow from coming into the bucket.

    I'm going to use a leatherhead hammer to hammer the spile in. Nice and secure. Take the bucket and hang it from there. Put some Reynolds wrap over it (excuse my filming while I do this). Its wrapped around the edges pretty well and has a decent seal.

    And hopefully we will start getting some maple syrup. From my understanding, the best time to start tapping your maple trees is when the daytimes are warm, above freezing. And the night times are freezing. And that causes some sort of pumping action inside the tree, and allows the sap to flow up and to flow down through the maple spile and into the bucket.

    In order to make maple syrup from this, you have to boil the maple syrup down for a very long period of time. Its about a 40 to 1 ratio in terms of sugar content. I'll do some filming of when we actually start boiling over a fire outside.

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  2. Maple Tree Root System

    Maple Trees in the Garden

    The maple tree root system is one of the most important factors to consider before planting a maple tree in a home garden. Different types of maple trees have different types of root systems. Some are small and compact; others can be large and sparse. Some maple tree root systems are deep, while others are just below the surface.

    The silver maple tree root system is one of the most intrusive of all the maple tree root systems. The silver maple tree root system is large and has very strong roots. They will easily grow up and raise cement sidewalks and porches. Planted near a house, the silver maple tree root system has even been known to break through a basement wall and cause significant structural damage. In order to prevent this, pruning of the silver maple leaf root system must be done, and not taken lightly.

    The Norway maple leaf root system is just below the surface of the soil. This means that it will also cause damage to sidewalks and other thin layers of cement. The Norway maple tree root system is not as powerful as that of the silver maple tree, so structural damage to a house or building is not nearly as likely. Another drawback to the high Norway maple tree root system is that other plants growing near the base will have to struggle to obtain enough nutrients to survive.

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  3. Planting Maple Trees

    Planting Sugar Maple Trees

    Planting maple trees can be a very straightforward process. It is similar to the act of planting most other trees. There are some considerations, however, to understand before planting maple trees. First of all is the root system of maple trees. Some maple trees, like the Silver maple, have very intrusive root systems. They can grow large and often break or destroy sidewalks, or basement walls. They should be planted away from such areas. Gardeners or landscapers interested in planting maple trees should also consider the location in relation to other plants.

    Some maple trees, such as the Norway maple, have a root system that is just below the surface of the soil. These maple trees would compete with any plants nearby for the nutrients and water in the soil. When planting maple trees near existing plants, it is important to know that the existing plants may die from lack of nutrients, or they may kill the maple tree.

    Planting maple trees should be done in the spring months, when the soil is moist and not very cold. The hole should be dug large enough to house the entire root system, and not be too crowded. The roots should be planted firmly, with the soil pressed down, to support the weight of the growing tree. When planting maple trees that are younger, a stake may be required to protect the plant from wind or other natural circumstances.

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