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Jemarque1

Tree sap tapping guide

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After watching Ray Mears i became interested in tree sap harvesting. Im pretty good at finding things on the web, if you have read most of my posts, but havn't been able to find any comprehensive guide on tree sap harvesting. Im looking for a comprehensive guide on edible saps and product saps, such as for wilderness grooming. I got some basics. You can harvest them in the spring and fall. Three of the trees you can harvest is maple, sweet birch and ash. If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be much appreciated.

 

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Theres a way to scribe the bark of a pine tree to harvest resin for survival glue. Its a lot like rubber tree scribing.

 

Ive made maple syrup a few times. The modern way is to boil it down but the Native Americans would let it sit out and freeze. The sugar content liquid would not freeze as easily as the sap so they would just remove the ice each day till they had the syrup. It could also turn to sugar eventually.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maple_syrup

 

I use an inch spade bit and my drill driver to drill through the bark enough to screw in an inch piece of pipe. However spinning a knife point will work in a pinch. Sometimes you can just put a straight stick in the hole and the sap will follow it. Slope the pipe slightly down ward to let the sap drip into the container. You have to support the container on a wire or rope some where other than the pipe as the weight will be too heavy for the pipe. Drill on the south side of the tree. You have to boil many gallons to get a pint of syrup.

 

The maple sap can be used for a water supply as you can get many gallons from one tree. Its a little woody but better than a sharp stick in the eye. Any maple will work hard or soft maple.

 

Willow sap is an emergency aspirin.

 

Large man vines are a good source of water. Simply cut them into and the water will run out.

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Thx for the info the link helps a bit. Ray Mears demonstrated sap tapping on a Birch tree, he used a wood drill and carved a wooden slide tap to collect the sap. This got me interested because i never thought of tapping any tree than a maple before. I wondered what were all the other trees you can tap.  I read somewhere there were like over 200 different trees you can tap.

 

Btw when harvesting sap, can you just continously harvest the sap during the spring and fall or is there a limit you can harvest before the tree takes permanent damage?

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I dont think it would ever make permanent damage unless the scribes on the bark are excessive. Only in the spring when the leaves are setting on the maple is when the sap runs. Soft maple can produce an amazing amount of sap.

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Manna?  This has quite the religious history and very questionable uses for food and how its gathered and from what source. Good luck with this but start with>

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manna

 

I found this that appears to be an extract from ash trees.

 

In a modern botanical context, manna is often used to refer to the secretions of various plants, especially of certain shrubs and trees, and in particular the sugars obtained by evaporating the sap of the Manna Ash, extracted by making small cuts in the bark.The Manna Ash, native to southern Europe and southwest Asia, produces a blue-green sap, which has medicinal value as a mild laxative, demulcent, and weak expectorant.

 

The names of both the sugar mannose and its hydrogenated sugar alcohol, mannitol are derived from manna.

 

So possibly Mears was trying to make sugar or sweet liquid from ash sap.

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I suppose it might be possible to keep boiling the liquid until it turns to sugar but scorching the whole batch would probably be the result. The way I ended up with maple sugar was letting it in time turn to sugar in the refrigerator like honey will do.

 

At this point any honey will do. MMmaaahhhh hah  hah hah hah     hah haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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Just to chime in, The amount of sap you'd need to make enough syrup is excessive. I think it's somewhere around 100 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup. In other words, to fill a cap on a pop bottle, you would need an entire 2 liter pop bottle worth of sap. Good luck collecting. lol You're going to be busy.

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