Edible Pine Tree Identification

Learn how to identify White Pine and Virginia Pine

Posted by Carolyn Dugas on January 18, 2021 · 1 minute read

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How to Identify White Pine and Virginia Pine Trees

Learn how to identify and safely forage for Eastern White Pine needles (Pinus strobus) and Virginia Pine needles (Pinus virginiana) - two of my favorite edible pine trees! These are a sustainable food source that you can wildcraft year-round. Be sure to stick around to the end for Pierre the Porcupine’s favorite pine facts!

Pierre the porcupine ready to share his favorite edible pine facts! Pierre the Porcupine, illustration courtesy of Studio Gooz


Chelminski, Stephen V. “Pines.” The Tree Identification Book: a Photographic Field Trip Designed for Easy Reference, Teaching, or Pleasure, by George W.D. Symonds, Quill, 1973, pp. 138–147.

Little, Elbert L. The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Trees: Eastern Region. Chanticleer Press ed., Alfred A. Knopf, 1983.

Smallidge, Peter. “Aren't They All Just Pines? How to ID Needle-Bearing Trees.” Cornell Small Farms, 11 Feb. 2019, smallfarms.cornell.edu/2019/02/arent-they-all-just-pines-how-to-id-conifer-trees/.

Cope, J. A., and Fred E. Winch. “Know Your Trees: A Guide to the Identification of New York State Forest Trees.” Cornell University, Nov. 2000.

Carolyn Dugas, Forager


Carolyn was born and raised in the woods of New England, where she attempted to feed "moss smoothies" to unsuspecting strangers as a child. Mercifully, her wild food skills have improved since then, thanks in part to a year-long foraging apprenticeship in 2017. Since then, she has been collecting and preparing wild foods on a daily basis. Learn more here.

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