young beech leaves

14 Wild Trees We Eat

All of the trees below grow in abundance on our mountain and up and down our road here. I’ve eaten from all of these trees with just one exception (have not tried acorns yet), so I’ll link posts where I have them.

Basswood (Tilia americana): leaves, flowers

  1. Basswood, Violet, & Black Locust Bloom Salad
  2. Basswood and Stonecrop Salad

Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus): needles, nuts, pollen, cambium, male cones

  1. Harvesting Eastern White Pine Cambium (Inner Bark)

Appalachian spicebush (Lindera benzoin): berries, leaves, twigs

  1. Spiceberry Harvest
  2. Spiceberry Peach Pie
  3. Spicebush Tea

Beech (Fagus grandiflora): young leaves, nuts

  1. Four Tree Salad
  2. Beech Leaves, Cleavers, and Waterleaf Greens

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis): leaves, twigs

Spruce (Picea): tips (new needle growth)

  1. Spruce Tip Cookies
  2. Spruce Tip Tea

Maple (Acer): samaras/seeds, leaves

  1.  Foraging Maple Seeds and Leaves

Hawthorn (Crataegus): leaves, flowers, berries

  1. Hawthorn & Spruce Tips in Pasta
  2. Hawthorn Haws (berries)

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia): flowers

  1. Basswood, Violet, and Black Locust Bloom Salad

Serviceberry (Amelanchier): berries

  1. Sarvis Berries

Apple (Malus): fruit

  1. Wild Apple Pie
  2. Ugly Delicious Apples

Elderberry (Sambucus): berries (only fully ripe and cooked)

Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina): berries

  1. Staghorn Sumac, Lamb’s Quarters, Purslane, and More

Oak (Quercus): acorns

A few notes on more edible trees:

  1. I’ve just planted three pawpaw trees that I brought down from my Uncle Mark’s house in Kentucky. In another 6 or 7 years, maybe I’ll have their fruits to add to the list.
  2. I didn’t include our wild cherry trees because we can’t reach any of the fruit; the birds get it, though.
  3. We have chokecherries (Prunus virginiana) here, and while the berries are edible, the seeds are toxic, so I’ve never harvested any.
  4. We also have hickory trees, but the nuts are tiny and bitter. The squirrels and chipmunks eat them, though.
  5. The nuts from our ironwood trees are edible, but as with beeches, they are tiny and don’t seem worth the effort.
  6. Although you can harvest sap from maples, birches, and ironwoods (all of which we have in abundance here), I haven’t included any tree saps because they take an immense amount of work to properly harvest and distill.

0 comments on “14 Wild Trees We Eat

Leave a Reply