Sugar Maple Damage during Tapping

Maple Tree Pails

We all know the beginning of spring by the increase in maple sap buckets that adorn maple trees throughout the area. But did you know that collecting maple sap injures the tree? There are several important facts to remember before tapping a tree:

  1. Large old trees should never be tapped.
  2. Only tap trees that are in the woods and not in the front yard of your house. Tapping causes wounds and can stress the plant. It leaves the tree vulnerable to disease and insect damage. Trees around your house provide numerous functional benefits and should be protected. They also add value to your home.
  3. Use a maximum of 3 buckets per tree on large trees only.
  4. Alternated tapping holes by 12” to the side and vertical from previous drill holes.
  5. Don’t forget maple sap is the trees ‘food’ so please leave some for the tree.

This photo is what happens when over-tapping of trees occurs.