Tap Wounds and Growth
Last month we cleared a few trees behind our pond, it was interesting to see some of the resulting logs. Check out the pictures of this small hard maple we cut down. It grew very little over the first 42 years of its life. When we purchased the property we thinned out some surrounding trees in 2015/2016, its obvious what the extra sunlight and resources did for the last six growth rings.
When a tap hole is drilled into a maple tree, the tree doesn’t actually heal itself, it compartmentalizes the wound to protect itself from infection. The second picture shows the dead wood from a couple of old tap holes. This tree is borderline too small to tap, it’s easy to see how a dozen or so tap holes could really reduce sap conductivity throughout the tree. We tapped it anyway knowing that we’d be thinning out hundreds of small maples over the next few years.