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Many of the trees have lost or are losing their leaves, making it a good time for us sick and cane makers to look for sticks. It is my favorite time to look. It is easier to see the limbs that would make good sticks. For some time I thought the sap content was less during the cold of the weather months. Then I read that the sap does not go into the roots in the winter. In fact, in some trees it may increase some in the wood above ground in the wintertime. The difference between summer and winter is the flowing of the sap. The amount of sap in a tree, or the moisture content, is essentially the same throughout the year. This has been measured many times by pulp companies that buy wood by weight and are concerned about the amount of water in the wood. Drying or curing time of a shank is not less because of less sap or moisture in the winter harvested wood. In some areas dryer cold air or the fact our storage may be heated more, like in the shop, could account for a little faster drying times.
 

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When I was on vacation last January I went out and collected a few sticks and had to stop several times when cutting some maple because the sap flow was combining with saw dust and clogging my saw teeth. It was an unusually warm January, though.
 
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