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Hickory Sap and Tapping

 
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Hi all,
We've been tapping our maples for years, and I have the timing down for when they run.  I'm wondering if anyone has experience tapping hickories (we have mostly bitternut and pignut, along with a few shagbarks).  Are the specifications the same for maple? (e.g. they run when the temp is above freezing during the day and below freezing at night; tap them once they are 12" round or bigger, etc).

All of my searching on the web for hickory sap/syrup leads to people doing bark infusions rather than producing syrup from the sap, so I'm hoping someone here will know.

Thanks!
Dana
 
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Location: near Athens, GA
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That is something I've been wanting to do for a while... the sap is really quite good with a uniquely wonderful flavor
 
steward
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I always heard that hickory syrup was just from boiling the bark and that it wasn't from actual sap cooking.  Not that this helps but it might lend some backing to what you're finding online...
 
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Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
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Yes, I don’t know of people who tap Hickory for syrup. I have seen it for sale, and I have found recipes online, they are very simple. You pick up some of the bark, clean it up good, boil it down in water to a thick tea, filter it and then add sugar until you reach a syrup state. That’s all there is to it. I’ve made it a couple of times.
 
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Terry Paul Calhoun wrote:Yes, I don’t know of people who tap Hickory for syrup. I have seen it for sale, and I have found recipes online, they are very simple. You pick up some of the bark, clean it up good, boil it down in water to a thick tea, filter it and then add sugar until you reach a syrup state. That’s all there is to it. I’ve made it a couple of times.


This is the way I've made hickory syrup before. When I realized it was simply simple syrup with a thick tea I was kinda bummed. It tastes good and  is delicious on oatmeal or sourdough pancakes if you do not have maple syrup.
 
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So we have 2 awesome, beautifully mature hickory nut trees. Last year was my first experience in making maple syrup. We ended up with a total of about 2 gallons of maple syrup! It sure was yummy! Regrettably, last year, I did not have my act together well enough to also tap the black walnuts and hickories here on our property in Central Illinois. But this year we've tapped 3 Maples, 2 Hickories and 2 Black Walnuts just this past weekend. Today the Maples and Black Walnuts are producing sap, I gathered about 5 gallons total between them. Although there wasn't any collection of sap in my buckets from the hickories, there was some sap in the lines. I managed to get a taste ... OMG!!!... the Hickory sap is so sweet! It's the craziest surprise of our day!! It is so sweet you would think it was already boiled down... tastes like it came straight from a candy store!!! I'm so excited and can't wait out 2 hickeys to actually produce enough sap to bring inside and experiment with!
 
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Location: Flagler Beach, Florida
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Can you tap any Hickory species? I know I have the green nuts all over my yard but am not sure the exact type yet. I would like to tap them this winter.
 
gardener
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post pics of the nuts?
 
Sara Carver
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Location: Flagler Beach, Florida
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Not the best options since the squirrels get to them as soon as they fall!
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greg mosser
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where are you located? and what does the bark look like?

if i had to guess without those answers, i’d say mockernut, or possibly shagbark. also, to answer your earlier question, i suspect all hickory species could be tapped, which might make which species you have a moot point.
 
Sara Carver
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I live in central Florida and the bark and tree looks like this-
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greg mosser
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probably either mockernut or a big specimen of scrub hickory, C. floridana.

i’d experiment with tapping either way - if your weather allows. the tapping i’m used to is best when the temperatures fluctuate between freezing and just a bit above every day.
 
Sara Carver
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Ok, thanks for your help! I will patiently wait for winter!
 
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