English Dialects | German Dialects | Links | Searchable Database | Home


The speaker is a 73-year-old White man with a high school education from Arlington, Vermont; he was recorded in 1968.



County: Bennington
State: VT

Commentary:
The town of Arlington was chartered in 1761 and settled by pioneers. Located in the Valley of Vermont, it lies between the Taconic Range and the Green Mountains. This area is known for its sugar maples, trees renowned for producing colorful fall foliage as well as maple syrup. In this segment the speaker talks about tapping maple trees to get sap to make syrup.
FW: First of all, about what time of year do you, uh, tap the trees?

INF: Well, that depends on the weather, but it???s a ver-, right around the last days of February or the early days of March is the usual thing. Sometimes it goes till later in March [FW: W-], if the weather???s too cold early.

FW: I see. Depends on the temperature and, uh???

INF: Uh, it has to freeze nights and thaw daytimes. And, uh, what I mean thaw is the thaw on the north side of the building as well as the south. The sun will sometimes bring it up to thawing even when it???s, uh, quite below freezing on the north sides of the building. So you won???t run much sap that way. It just, uh, maybe drip a little on the sunny side, but it???s gonna run, it???s got to thaw on the north side as well. So usually, uh, the thermometer has to get up to forty or fifty maybe before you get a good run of sap. Just being in the low thirties doesn???t do it.

FW: What do you call the place where you get the, uh, sap, where all the trees grow together?

INF: Sugar woods.

FW: Huh, they ever call it anything else?

INF: Sap woods, some call it. [Laughter] Sugar bush is another word. I don???t know where they get the bush from. They???d have to have ???em bigger than that. [Laughter] Um, and another thing is a, a tree isn???t worth tapping until it???s about, at least a foot in diameter [FW: Uh-huh]. Uh, smaller than that just, just too bad. It just damages the tree too much and you get nothing.

FW: Well, what kind of maples are they that you tap?

INF: Uh, sugar maple is the, uh, right n-name for it. It???s a, it???s a hard maple. And it is, uh, there???s a rock maple that doesn???t run sap. And there???s soft maples, of course, uh, may run some sap, but no sweetness to it.

Back to US English Map
back to American Languages home