Buckets or Plastic Tubing
I remember a time here in northern New England when galvanized buckets hanging from maple trees was a common sight. It was one of those rites of spring, just like seeing the first robin or the first geese flying north.
Times have changed. Though you’ll still see some buckets, those buckets have been replaced by miles and miles of plastic tubing. Why? Because maple sugaring is a huge business, and it’s far more efficient and cost effective to transport the sap from the trees directly to the sugar shack using tubing than it is to send people out to collect sap from buckets.
While this tubing, and the pumps that push the sap through the miles of lines, may be good for business, is it good for the trees? There are people who come down on either side of the debate, and the verdict is still out. For now, I’ll continue doing things the traditional way.
(above) Rather than buy sap buckets at $19 each, the author used plastic milk and water jugs to catch sap. PHOTO BY DANA BENNER