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The Secret Wounds of Maple Trees Illustration by Frenchfold  

The Secret Wounds of Maple Trees

Translated by Katia Grubisic

“A cut is a wound,” Sylvain had said. “How you do it matters. And prying out the spile is even more important: if you apply too much force you can rip off the bark, and it takes years to heal. The tree dies from the inside and you never see it coming, until next thing you know there’s no more sap. You owe it to the tree to wound it correctly. I know that sounds kind of silly, but that’s really how it is. You don’t have a choice, there’s an element of harm involved in tapping maples. If you do it right, it’ll heal slowly, and then you can choose the best place to drill the next hole and let the old one heal. You understand? It’s cyclical. You make a new hole just far enough away from the old one, and everybody ...

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