I spoke with as many practitioners as I could and tested all the various “rules” for harvesting Maple and found, almost without exception, they didn’t always work. Many factors affect whether bark will peel. The window may be short in hot, drier locations but might extend into late fall in higher, cooler locations. But then, the place that peeled so well last July, just doesn’t the next July.
Now days, because many people access the forest, generally only narrow strips of Maple are taken from any one trunk to minimize “damage” to a tree. But what’s better, damaging each truck of a multi-trunked tree, or entirely stripping one of the trunks so the tree will discard it (self-prune), thus delivering firewood? Back in the day, I think I would have let the tree work with me.