Tapping sugar maple in Florida

Debbie1213(9)June 22, 2014

I would like to tap our sugar maple which has been leaking sap for a couple of years now. My question is can this be done in Florida and when should it be done?

Any advice is greatly appreciated.


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Maple syrup season generally begins in late winter and runs through early spring. Winter weather is the key. The best time to tap trees for sap is on days when the temperature is below freezing at night and above 40 degrees in the daytime.

I donâÂÂt know how far south you can do this because it has to get below freezing at night for a period of time. And you need a mighty big lot of sap (as in more than one tree and many gallons) to boil down to get a very small amount of syrup.

But you'll need a tap (spile) and a bucket to hang on the spile for sap collection.. in addition to the right weather for the sap to "run".

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:45AM
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Your zone is listed as 7a. Are you sure you're in Florida? ;)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 7:34PM
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hairmetal4ever(Z7 MD)

In Florida, the only "sugar maple" that would grow well for any length of time is the Southern Sugar Maple, Acer floridanum (AKA Acer barbatum AKA Acer saccharum var floridanum).

While it technically can be tapped, it's a function of climate rather than species - most North American maples *can* be tapped, if the weather is right. If I planted a Southern Sugar Maple here in MD - I could probably get some sap flow from it in January and early February, which is when the few people tapping maples in my area would do it. A "regular" sugar maple would do the same thing here as would red or silver maple.

It takes freezing nights and above freezing days to make the sap flow.

I doubt you could get much, if any, sap to flow in Florida unless you had a record-setting cold winter.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2014 at 10:17PM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

It is not just a matter of sap flow. Once a tree starts to bud it greatly affects the flavor of the syrup.


    Bookmark   June 23, 2014 at 10:29PM
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