Tapping & Tubing


3/16ths guru Tim Wilmot. The gravity of it all.

Tim Wilmot, University of Vermont Ext. Maple Specialist (retired) Researcher for Dominion and Grimm Inc. | Jan. 13, 2018

The use of 3/16” tubing for sap collection began as a series of experiments that I conducted while working at the University of Vermont Proctor Maple Research Center.

The goal was to devise a gravity sap collection method that would improve production for sugarmakers with small operations who typically collected much less sap than producers using vacuum pumps.

Over the past 8 years I have continued to conduct research with this tubing in an effort to learn more about its potential uses and possible shortcomings, both for gravity and pumped sap collection.


Sugaring in December

PETER GREGG | Oct. 1, 2017

Some call it defying Mother Nature, others would call it taking advantage of her, but the fall tappers are at it again.

“I only planned on having enough sap to boil on the stove,” said Cody Armstrong, one of the few brave souls who tapped trees this fall. “I thought it would be cool.” MORE ]


The Take Down Master

Peter Gregg | April 2017

It’s hard to believe Tony Van Glad is still smiling.

Van Glad, a 6,300-tap producer in the Catskills region of New York, is one of the few sugarmakers who put up and then take down their entire pipeline system every season. MORE ]


Sugarmakers invent gadget for easy droplines

Caleb Schrock & Jeremy Swartzentruber | December 2016

We have done tubing installations and made droplines so we know how time consuming, strenuous and monotonous making drop-lines can be. 
We knew there had to be better MORE ]


Man vs. Squirrel

Peter Gregg |

The arch enemy of sugarmakers is the squirrel.
More than maybe any other force of nature—a bad season, a bad wind, fallen branches—it’s the hordes of gray and red squirrels that cause the most costly damage in the woods, chewing up tubing, fittings and spouts. MORE ]


Results in from 2016 3/16” tubing research

Stephen Childs, NYS Maple Specialist |

The 2016 maple sap season offered an interesting look at the effects of 3/16” tubing on vacuum without significant elevation drop and some comparisons of 3/16” tubing with and without the addition of mechanical vacuum. MORE ]


3/16 tubing thoughts and observations

Arthur G. Krueger, P.E. |

In the December 2015 issue of Maple News, a person discussing 3’16” tubing said that one needed 10’ of fall for the system to work. At best, 10’ would only give a vacuum of 9” of mercury (9” hg on your vacuum guage). Not exactly a high vacuum system. 40’ or 50’ of fall is required for high vacuum. If set up right, these systems will develop a high vacuum in the tubing itself without a pump or releaser. MORE ]


Going underground

Peter Gregg |

Mike Ross expects his underground pipeline to last a lot longer than he will.

“You get 150-year life out of PVC pipe,” he said during a 2015 tour for The Maple News at his RMG Family Maple orchard in Rudyard, located in the far right corner of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. MORE ]