Worked at the woods around the sugarhouse, fixing tubing. While I got the main lines tensioned , leak checked a few days earlier, today I scouted out tubing leaks on the small tubing (lateral lines) (mostly squirrel chews) and fixed those lines too. Also, I took some rolls of tubing home to make up more drop lines. A drop line consists of a tap, about 32″ of tubing and a Tee. Then as I go around making final preparations for tapping I cut out about 1/3 of the old drops and install new. That way, each drop is disposed of on a 3 year rotation. The next time the weather is not good to work in the woods, I’ll stay home and assemble those drops. I have almost 300 minimum to make, but will likely make extra because I have 2 different diameters of lateral lines requiring drops to be different. All of the lateral lines on flatter ground are 5/16″ diameter and those on steeper ground are 3/16. This makes it necessary to have some drops with tee’s for 5/16″ line and some with tee’s for 3/16 lines. This is because on steeper ground the smaller diameter helps generate vacuum by gravity, while the larger does not. In 3/16 lines the sap and air in the line move towards the mainline without the sap passing the air and the sap fills the line so the weight of that sap creates vacuum, in the 5/16″ lines sap can and does slide under the air and thus does not have the ability to generate any vacuum by gravity. All of the mainlines have medium vacuum on them, but the lines that also make vacuum using gravity end up having more vacuum on those taps. Every inch of gravity adds on average 5-7% more sap, meaning we can make more syrup. We use tapping guidelines based on vacuum for the continued good health of the trees.