Maple Tapping Workshop with Branford Land Trust

Join the Branford Land Trust for a Maple Tapping Workshop on Saturday, February 17, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at DeLeo Field (154 Laurel Hill Rd, Branford). Joe Orefice, the Director of Forest and Agricultural Operations at Yale Forests, and research and extension fellow Shaylyn Austin will lead participants through the fascinating process of maple tapping. This hands-on workshop will address the three essential questions around maple tapping: 1) When do I tap? 2) What trees do I tap? 3) How do I tap?

Registration is required, and limited to 30 people, so please register today at:

Whether you’re an experienced syrup producer, you’re contemplating tapping the maple in your backyard, or you’re simply intrigued by the journey from tree to syrup, this workshop caters to all levels of interest. The engaging presentation style will ensure an informative and enriching experience for anyone curious about the origins of maple syrup. Don’t miss this opportunity to sweeten your knowledge in the realm of maple tapping.

This is a family-friendly event, but designed for people interested in maple producing, not specifically for kids. Please meet at 156 Laurel Hill Road (0.9 miles off of Brushy Plains Road) at the DeLeo parking area (look for the kiosk). There is limited parking so please carpool! Not a rigorous walk, but participants should be comfortable walking on uneven terrain. Wear appropriate clothing for 3 hours outside. You are welcome to bring a thermos of hot beverage for yourself. No dogs for this event, please.

The workshop agenda will be as follows:

9:00 a.m. – Registration and hellos

9:15 a.m. – Introduction from the Branford Land Trust

9:30 a.m. – When to tap maple trees for optimal sap yield

10:00 a.m. – What maple trees to tap, including winter species identification

11:00 a.m. – Best practices for sustainable maple tapping

11:45 a.m. – Evaluations and wrap-up

12:00 p.m. – Adjourn

Joe Orefice is a lecturer and the Director of Forest & Agricultural Operations at the Forest School at the Yale School of the Environment. Before joining the Yale faculty in 2018, Joe served as Cornell University’s Northern New York Maple Specialist and Director of the Uihlein Maple Research Forest, where he managed a 5,500 tap production. In his current position, Joe oversees the management of over 10,000 acres of wooded land in Connecticut, Vermont, and New Hampshire. Additionally, he operates a demonstration sugarbush at Yale-Myers Forest in northeastern Connecticut. In his public outreach work, he engages with communities across Connecticut, sharing his extensive knowledge and passion for maple syrup production. As a leader in his field, Joe brings a unique blend of scientific rigor and practical experience to his work.

Shaylyn Austin is a recent graduate of the Master of Forestry program at the Yale School of the Environment. She currently serves as a research and extension fellow with Yale Forests, primarily focused on maple syrup production and education. Shaylyn brings a wealth of knowledge in ecological research and sustainable forest management to her role. Her passion lies in fostering connections within communities to promote the stewardship of thriving and resilient forests. Shaylyn will lead the tree ID portion of the workshop.

This workshop is supported with funds from the USDA ACER Access Program.