SweetWood Maple Products

Pennsylvania Pure Maple Syrup  


Maple Season 2017

December 2016

 We finally got moving for sugaring late in the year.  We had mountains of slab wood that needed cut and stacked in the new addition to the sugarhouse.  Part of that process was resurrecting the log splitter, which had been in mothballs for 10 years.  A new carburator, air cleaner and spark plug did the trick.  Not the smoothest running engine, but it did the job.

January 2017

We had some friends over to begin tackling 6 years of dormant tubing runs, downed lines, etc in the woods.  Last year, we took a shortcut and only tapped 100+ trees, and used a pump and hose to get the sap back to the sugarhouse.

It was slow going for sure, much more damage than expected.  We were using Gripple's galore, which worked well.  I purchased a Gripple tightening tool, the best money I have ever spent!

In parallel to this process was continuing to stack firewood.  It never fails, between work and weather, we are always behind. 

January was expiring, and looking at the weather, I had the sneaking suspicion that this year was a rare time when early tapping is key.

Early February 2017

We were working on tubing like mad, along with clean up of the tanks and reworking the stuck valves on the releaser.

The vacuum pump had also not been run in many years, but fortunately not much work was needed.  We did need to repair damage to the line from the sugarhouse to the tanks.

Mid February 2017

We are nearing completion, but the weather forcast looks dismal.  Hitting high 60's for an extended period is hopefully wrong.  We decide to wait it out and not tap to just get one or two runs.

Late February 2017

Our worst fears were realized, we have been living through the warmest late February on record.  The bud are out, but we hold out a bit of hope as it seems the temps will dip again into the teens.  The peepers were out in force for many days.  This means the swamp is not frozen, and spring is upon us.  I have never made normal syrup with peepers as a backdrop.

March 8, 2017

After a few days of really cold weather, we decided to tap a tree and see if the trees pulled back at all.  This has happened in the past when we had a week of 60's.  It saved the season back then.

Unfortunately, this year, the ground was not frozen at all.  We had no buffer.  This was confirmed when we tried to boil the sap, it was buddy for sure. 

All that work to get ready, and it seems we are out.  I have never missed a full season based on weather. 

Late March 2017

After a few more test boils, it seems it is really over.  We decided to hang up the towel respectfully, and took all the tubing down and make it as easy as possible for next year.

2017 February Weather

2017 March Weather