access and collect maple tree sap, syrup producers drill small holes
into trees. Sap slowly drips out of these holes, which are called,
power auger is the tool currently preferred for tapping maples. Many
large-scale maple producers have thousands of taps (some as many as
20,000), so the use of hand-operated drills is not realistic.
tap holes should extend no more than 2.5 to 3 inches beyond the bark
and into the tree.
maple producers use a drill bit that is 7/16 inches in diameter, and
maple supplies are standardized for holes this size. Holes are drilled
at an upward slant of about 10 degrees. A sharp drill bit minimizes
damage to the tree and allows for the most efficient drilling. Researchers
at the Uihlein Field Station are experimenting with smaller spouts.
Read more about this research.