The traditional way of collecting maple sap to produce maple syrup is with buckets. The use of buckets has both pros and cons.
- Buckets are traditional and more attractive, therefore good for marketing if your sugarbush is near where you retail syrup.
- Buckets are the suited to sugarbushes with very dispersed trees (cheaper to set up).
- Buckets are subject to less squirrel damage
- Bucket systems are usually more expensive to set up than tubing systems (except with very dispersed trees)
- Buckets require long hours of emptying. Old buckets can leach lead, spoil sap more rapidly in warm weather and have flows that "aren't worth emptying" for several days.
- Bucket systems require all-weather road systems in the sugarbush or a lot of walking with carrying buckets.