How to Tap a Pine Tree to Get Resin

Updated February 21, 2017

Pine resin is a useful natural creation gathered from pine trees. Resin can often be collected from naturally occurring scars in pine trees, such as where live limbs are broken off the tree. It is also possible to tap a pine tree. Once tapped, the sap is collected in a bucket hanging beneath the tap. The sap is used in the creation of pine resin products such as pine pitch.

Mark out a channel on the tree, approximately 2 feet tall, 6 inches wide at the top and narrowing in width slightly as it moves down the tree.

Chop away the bark of the tree and a thin layer of the trunk of the tree inside the channel, exposing the live tree underneath.

Position a plastic bucket at the bottom of the channel. Use a thin plastic bucket, so you can press the bucket in so that the lip runs flush with the surface of the tree.

Nail the bucket to the tree with a nail at each corner of the channel, and nail additional nails along the length if needed to secure the bucket flush.

Leave the bucket to sit for at least one day. As sap is emitted from the exposed live tree, it will run down the channel and into the bucket.

Examine the surface of the tree for signs that sap is still flowing. Allow the bucket to remain if the tree is still emitting sap, or remove the bucket if you have harvested all available sap from this channel.

Things You'll Need

  • Axe
  • Plastic bucket
  • Hammer
  • Nails
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