Jordan Davis uses a precision tapper Sunday to drill a hole into a sugar maple in Sabattus. The drill keeps the tap hole completely round, resulting in a better vacuum in the sap lines, which makes the entire process more efficient. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Jordan Davis leaps over a small stream Sunday in the middle of a stand of maple trees the Maple Rush Sugar House team is tapping in Sabattus. Randy Wheeler follows behind Davis, and Sadie Farrand walks through the woods to the right. When possible, the team uses a stream to follow as it guides the main line of the sugar operation downhill. Water will always flow downhill, making the placement of the main line more efficient in removing sap from the woods. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Sadie Farrand watches as Randy Wheeler hammers in a maple syrup tap Sunday into a virgin sugar maple tree in Sabattus. The tap must get into the sapwood, which is the new growth on a maple tree, but not go so far that it hits the heartwood. Wheeler listens to the tone of the thud until it changes pitch, indicating the tap is properly seated. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Scott Davis and his son-in-law, Randy Wheeler, climb a hill Sunday to a stand of maple trees in Sabattus that they are tapping for their family business, Maple Rush Sugar House. The new area contains about 850 trees, half of which they hope to tap this year. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Sadie Farrand helps maintain tension Sunday on a lateral line as her fiance, Jordan Davis, brings the line down to her. Last spring, Farrand and Davis walked through the new sugar bush to mark 850 trees they planned to tap. The multistep process is organized so each member of the team can come into the woods and work independently. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Jordan Davis runs a green lateral line from a tree Sunday in Sabattus. The Maple Rush Sugar House team color codes its lines to keep organized. The maple syrup operation began in 2017, and has picked up many tips and tricks from other maple sugar producers. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal


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