TAPPING THE TREE (click text for pictures)
To collect the earliest runs of sap, tapping should be completed by late February or Early March in Wisconsin. Minimal trunk diameter for trees suitable for tapping is 10 inches at around 4 feet above the ground. To tap the tree, select a spot on the trunk of the tree approximately 2 to 4 feet above the ground. Now that you have spotted a source, drill(tap) a hole approximately 2 to 2.5 inches deep into the tree at a very slight downward slope. Then insert a collection device(metal or plastic) into the tree, and attach a bucket, plastic bag or a tubing line to the tap.

COLLECTING THE SAP (click text for pictures)
Sap flow in maple trees will not occur every day throughout the tapping season. A Run occurs when it gets below freezing at night and rises to about 45 Degrees Fahrenheit during that day. Thus, the amount of sap produced varies from day to day. On average, a single taphole produces 10 to 12 gallons per taphole . Sap averages approximately 2 percent sugar. At this concentration, 40 gallons of sap are required to produce 1 gallon of syrup. If the sap contains a higher sugar concentration, less sap will be required. Heat is used to concentrate the sap and to develop the characteristic maple color and flavor that makes Wisconsin Pure Maple Syrup so highly desirable.

EVAPORATING THE SAP (click text for pictures)
In large commercial operations, the evaporation pan is arranged so that sap may be continuously added and syrup drawn off. To begin evaporation, fill the evaporating container (preferably a large shallow pan) with sap. Begin heating the sap to the boiling point, taking care not to burn or scorch the sap. As evaporation lowers the level of sap in the pan, add more sap. Continue this process until most of the sap in the pan is highly concentrated and the boiling point of the sap begins to rise above the boiling point of water. Finished syrup boils at 7 degrees above the boiling point of water.