Proper tapping technique starts with selecting trees of the proper size. At Somerskogen, we use the conservative tapping guideline of one tap for a tree with a diameter of 10 inches or more and two taps for trees with a diameter of 16 inches or greater.

We drill a 5/16 inch diameter hole no deeper than 1/1/2 to 2 inches in to the tree. We use a new, clean and sharp 5/16 inch drill bit on a cordless drill and angle the tap hole upward at approximately 5 degrees.

When tapping the tree, we make sure that we are 4 inches to either side and 6 inches above or below the previous years tap. We also tap in a spiral pattern to fully utilize all side of the tree. We avoid any wounds or deadwood when tapping. If the previous years taps have not healed by the next season we don't re-tap the tree for another year as this signifies the tree is under stress.

sap·wood noun \sap-ˌwu̇d\

Definition of SAPWOOD

: the younger softer living or physiologically active outer portion of wood that lies between the cambium and the heartwood and is more permeable, less durable, and usually lighter in color than the heartwood