Sonntag, 6. März 2011

Tapping system for birch sap

 I had some talking with our local forest ranger and an old  Russian migrant, and they gave me some valuable hints on tapping a birch properly. First, I figured, I wanted a smaller hole, for the tree to heal faster. One should tap the birch in  stock height, the height the tree needs to survive even when cut. The hole should be angled downwards, for enough sap coming up to the tree´s crown. If you tap the birch, make sure there´s no severe pollution / contamination uphill (batteries, oil barrels and the like). Heavy Metal is great to listen to, but not so ideal as a drink...;-). Plus, the sap is not yet rising, and I have to ride one good hour to get to birchs that are not poisoned. So I decided I had to think up a closed system that could do with little service. Took
 a good length of sterile and neutral plastic tube, and a coke bottle I found in the youknowwhats;-). Drilled a hole in the lid and sealed that with Gaffa tape.

Bottle, drill and tube, plus a spare lid from another coke bottle I found in the (insert my favourite word).

Did a little fun ride with a friend of mine and did the tapping. I will check it tomorrow. As you can see, (or can´t see), we did some hiding. Around the place I placed some rugs sprayed with some hair spray to keep the wild pigs off (hope that worked). The spout was placed in the tree and fixed with Gaffa and zip-tied and hidden with some birchbark lying around.

Please note: The tree gives a gift to you. Treat it with respect in turn. Do not overdo it, and don´t forget to plug the hole after you tapped it with a little plug out of fresh birch wood (you wouldn´t want to sprout Octopus tentacles either, and that would be the case if you took some other tree standing nearby just for convenience.

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