This month we’ve started the process of replacing all 22,000 drop lines. A drop line is the section of tubing next to each tree. Ours are around three feet long which allows us to tap the entire circumference of the tree. Each year bacteria builds up inside the plastic as the sap flows. When a tree freezes at night it actually sucks sap back into the tap hole, bringing any contaminates along with it. This bacteria grows and closes off the taphole prematurely, reducing overall sap yield. Studies have consistently found that replacing spouts every year and drop lines every 2-4 years produces the most sap with the least cost in time/materials. We’re coming up on our seventh season and now installing our third set of drops. This year we decided to go with blaze orange for visibility, pre-assembled with polycarbonate spouts and straight connectors. These pre-made drops will significantly reduce the time we spend installing them.