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Maple Sugaring

Environmental Education Center, 190 Lord Stirling Rd, Basking Ridge, NJ • 908 766-2489

Maple Sugaring
Maple Sugaring
MaSampling the Maple Syrup
The Spile

The spile or sap spout is a tubular device inserted into a maple taphole to transport sap into a bucket or pipeline. Spouts used with buckets are made of galvanized iron or aluminum. Those used in tubing systems are molded from plastic. The word spile may be a possible variation of the early settler term “spills”, or carved wooden sap pipes.

The Native Americans directed the flow of sap from the tree to a hollow bowl by using reeds (stiff, hollow-stemmed grasses) or concave pieces of bark. The pioneer spile was whittled out of soft woods. Today the spile is simply a tapered piece of molded metal or plastic used to form a watertight seal with the bark of the tree, yet allow free space between the sapwood and spout.

The spile has two purposes:

1. To direct sap into the catching container.
2. To provide support for the sap container be it bag, bucket, or tubing.

Spile Spile
Please click on the following links for more information on maple sugaring:

Maple Sugaring Home
Boiling Down

Gathering The Sap
History of Maple Sugaring
Is It Syrup Yet?
Maple Activities
Maple Recipes
Sugar Bush
Word Search (pdf file)
Word Search Answer Key (pdf file)
Multiple Choice Questions

E-mail the EEC any questions or comments.