Your Questions about the Sapling Evaporator – Answered!

February 25, 2019

Like shiny things? This season’s Sapling Evaporator, in stock now, is a classic, flat black with stainless evaporator pan and accents. Making maple syrup in your backyard has never been this easy OR attractive!

You are seriously thinking about buying a Sapling Evaporator, but you have a few questions. Chances are, the answers are below!

What’s the lead-time on a Sapling Evaporator?

None! Our stock is holding out well, and we’re busy manufacturing more at a good clip. We work every day during the season, so orders are generally shipped or made available for pickup the next business day after an order is placed.

How does the Sapling Evaporator ship?

The Sapling ships in a big box via UPS.

How long does it take to ship a Sapling to zipcode _ _ _ _ _?

UPS estimates place all of sugar country within one to three days of us. except for the farthest reaches of Maine, New England destinations are one day away, as are eastern and central New York. Western New York and the New York City area, as well as Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland are two-day destinations. It takes three days to get a Sapling to Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa.

How much does it cost to ship a Sapling to zipcode _ _ _ _ _?

We ship Saplings anywhere in the U.S. for $150, flat.

May I come pick up my Sapling instead?

Sure thing! You can pick up your Sapling, by appointment, for free!

When may I pick up my Sapling?

Our facility is generally open for pickups-by-appointment from 9-5 during the week. If that doesn’t work for you, we’ll find a weekend time that does. Shortly after you place your order, we will be in touch with you to schedule a pickup. Rushing is not the Vermont way. As such, we’re happy to hold your Sapling for you while you plan your trip to Montpelier, an excellent day-trip destination (activity and restaurant recommendations available upon request)!

What is the best way to place my order?

Online! And thanks for asking. We’re a small operation, so placing your order on our website helps us stay organized and avoid mistakes.

How many taps will the Sapling handle?

We recommend the Sapling for operations ranging from 5-50 taps for customers who anticipate saving sap up for occasional boils (e.g., weekends or days off from work). Customers who are able to boil whenever the sap flows should be able to handle up to 100 taps. The Sapling is not recommended for operations bigger than 100 taps.

How many gallons per hour can I evaporate on the Sapling?

We have measured everything from 4 to 8 gallons of evaporation per hour on our Sapling. The speed of your boil will depend on many things, including: the temperature outside, whether it is precipitating, the heat of your fire, your level of attention and skill and whether you are using the Sapling Warming Pan or other warming situation of your own invention.

Does the Sapling come assembled?

Almost completely! All new Sapling owners must install the stack and ball valve. That involves six self-tapping screws, pipe tape (provided) and opposable thumbs (BYO). Saplings that are shipped will also need to have their legs attached with the bolts, nuts and lock washers provided. Directions come with and are also here.

What tools should I have on hand for assembly?

A power-drill with Philips-head attachment installed should do it. A note for the apocalypse: it is possible to assemble a Sapling with nothing but a Philips-head screwdriver, but it’s not fun. Self-tapping screws don’t require drilling—although some folks prefer to pre-drill—but do pair well with power tools.

Is the Sapling portable?

Yes! The Sapling is light enough for one or two people to move it around easily (see below) and even comes with threaded holes on each foot for the intrepid customer who wishes to install casters for locomotion around easy terrain. (Hint: get the ones with breaks – you need to be able to level your unit).

How heavy is the Sapling?

All assembled, the Sapling is about 90 lbs. The heaviest part (the barrel with legs and door installed) is about 50 lbs.

What are the dimensions of the Sapling?

People usually ask because they are wondering if it will fit in their car. The answer is yes! We once fit a Sapling Evaporator in a Toyota Corolla! (We had to take it apart.) The partially-assembled Sapling will fit in any SUV or truck bed.

The Sapling ships in a box that is 38 x 25 x 27 (L x W x H). With legs at pickup, it’s about 33 x 23 x 29 (L x W x H).

If you need more detail than this because you are installing your Sapling in an outbuilding, please be in touch!

What kind of outfitting does the Sapling require?

Besides sap, the only thing you absolutely need to bring to your Sapling is an inch or two of sand or ash to be placed on the bottom of your barrel (to protect the metal from the hottest part of your fire).

Should I firebrick my Sapling?

This is a matter of personal choice. The benefits are heat retention and added protection for your barrel. The downside is a smaller firebox. There is such a thing as half-brick, which basically splits the difference. If you are curious about how to lay your brick in your barrel, you can watch us do it here.

Can I install my Sapling in a sugar house?

Provided you consult your local fire warden and do it safely, yes! While the Sapling was designed for outdoor use, we have many customers who have installed their Saplings inside a shack or other outbuilding.

What kind of wood should I burn in the Sapling?

Opinions vary about what kind of wood is best, but the truth is that most people just burn what is available at little or no cost. We like a mixture of hard and soft, ourselves. Your wood should be split a time or two more than you would split it for use in your wood stove so that it about the width of your arm. Best to keep the lengths to two feet or below.

How much wood do I need?

It’s a hard question to answer without knowing what kind of wood you are burning, but, by way of a ballpark, we suggest 1/2 cord of wood per every 5 gallons of syrup produced.

I don’t have that much; where can I find inexpensive wood?

Check with a local hardware store or lumber mill. Very often, outfits that sell lumber will have or know where you can get inexpensive wood called “slag” wood – the bark edges of trees cut for lumber. You can also use old pallets, clean construction extras, or dry fallen wood. For a complete discussion on sugar wood, go here.

Can I get to finished syrup on the Sapling or will I need to finish on a separate pan?

While the experienced and the brave make it to finished syrup on the Sapling, most of us amateur sugar makers pour-off when we are very close (for us, it’s usually about 2:1), and reduce the rest of the way on propane nearby or inside on the kitchen stove.