SUGAR BUSH

MILL HOLLOW MAPLE HAS 3 SUGAR BUSHES. A SUGAR BUSH IS A FOREST THAT CONTAINS A HEALTHY AMOUNT OF MAPLE TREES THAT CAN BE TAPPED. TYPICALLY, SUGAR BUSHES ARE ON A SLOPE TO UTILIZE GRAVITY. THE TREES ARE TAPPED IN FREEZING TEMPERATURES SO ONCE A THAW OCCURS, THE SAP CAN FLOW FROM THE TREES THROUGH THE TUBING SYSTEM TO A STAINLESS STEEL TANK.

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Tubing System

The polyethylene lines that run from the tree to larger main lines are called lateral lines. From the main line the sap is pulled through a releaser and the sap is released into a stainless steel tank. The sap is collected from those tanks several times a day and brought to the sugar house to be made into maple syrup.

The Releaser

The releaser functions to take the sap from the lines and release it into the storage tank while not compromising the vacuum system. The entire sugar bush is under the same vacuum system. If there are any leaks or the releaser does not function properly the vacuum levels will drop making the system less than efficient. This video shows how a releaser works.

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Infrastructure

Setting up a sugar bush means mapping out and setting up miles of wire and tubing, tensioning the wire and securing the tubing to that wire. Any dips in the lines causes undue stress on the vacuum system so everything is taut. The tubing requires constant maintenance throughout the season mostly due to animal chews and fallen trees. A slight drop in vacuum means a hole in the system. Every year the taps are changed and brand new ones are used and the tubing is changed as needed.

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