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How to Get Sap Out of Cedar Trees

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Collecting the sap from a maple tree image by Rob Hill from Fotolia.com

Tip

When collecting sap repeatedly from the same tree, drill the new hole several inches above the previous hole to avoid damaging the tree too much in one area.

All trees produce a sticky sap underneath their bark. Maple trees are famous for their sap which is collected and converted into syrup, but it's possible to collect sap from any tree. If you have an abundance of cedar trees in your backyard, you may want to collect the sap to use or to teach children about the sap collection process, known as tapping.

Drill a 1-1/2- to 2-inch-deep hole into the trunk of the cedar tree using a 5/8-inch spade drill bit as recommended by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Aim the drill upward to create a slight slant when drilling.

Cut a piece of 1/2-inch PVC pipe to a length of 4 inches to create your spile. The spile goes into the tree to funnel out the sap. You can purchase a metal spile instead of making one.

Position spile on the edge of the drilled hole and gently tap it with a small mallet. Continue tapping until the spile is wedged into the tree with the front sticking out. Do not tap the spile all the way into the tree.

Wrap a piece of wire around your spile and around the handle of a bucket so the bucket hangs below the spile. Store-bought spiles allow you to hang the bucket directly on the spile and a small protrusion on top holds the handle in place. Cover the bucket and spile with a piece of cloth to prevent falling leaves from landing in the bucket.

Check the bucket at the end of the day for any sap. Pour the sap into a jar and replace the bucket to collect more sap.

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