native maples can be tapped: the silver, red, boxelder (Manitoba
maple), and the most important and most used, the sugar maple
(Acer saccharum). The bigleaf maple, as found on the
west coast of North America, has also been successfully tapped
with an acceptable maple syrup being produced. Studies show
that birch (Betula spp.) and walnut (Juglans spp.)
can be and have been tapped to provide edible, sweet syrup.
conditions for sap flow include temperature fluctuations between
41°F (5 °C) during the day and 23 °F (-5 °C)
during the night. This temperature variation can last a short
time or for an extended period, depending on the year. There
is only one maxim to be followed: when the sap is flowing and
flowing fast, one works and boils until it stops.
||French label that was attached when purchased.
When first obtained for the Lee Valley Tools collection, this
item was more of a true "What Is It" and there was
much head scratching as to the actual method of use. Collected
here in Canada, it is obvious from the label this tool has its
origins in the province of Quebec, an area long known for its
abundance of artisan tools and implements. The label, however,
also told its history, as the word "Chalumeaux" has
its origins in 12th-century France. It referred to a reed or
cane that could be used as a musical instrument, somewhat like
a recorder. Other translations have been observed that give
additional definitions, such as pipe or straw. It is the last
definition that is of importance in searching out the use of
this tool and its association with the maple syrup industry.
|Side view of sap spile.
||End view of sap spile.