Leaves and shoots
Where can I pick leaves and shoots?
If you are after leaves and shoots from trees, it is important that you determine who owns the area you are foraging in, and ask for their permission. For example, the vast majority of spruce plantations are commercial, so it is possible that the pine forest you’re exploring is private property.
When are the leaves and shoots best?
The shoots on trees are best right before they open, and the leaves are best when they are bright green and have a matte surface. Spruce shoots are best when bright green, and soft and rubbery to the touch.
What kind of equipment do I need to forage leaves and shoots?
A pair of scissors and a container (or bag) is all you’ll need.
How do I pick leaves and shoots?
You can pick the fresh leaves directly from the tree or bush. Shoots from deciduous trees that have yet to open can be gently plucked off the branches with your fingers to avoid damaging the rest of the branch. Carefully snip off shoots just above the outermost light green spot. It can be tough on the plant or tree to have its leaves and shoots cut off, so always take a smaller amount from several branches or plants, rather than all from a single one. Put the plant parts in small plastic bags or containers, and avoid exposing them to direct sunlight. If you store the leaves in bags, wrap a wet towel around them to keep your harvest cool on the way home.
How do I clean leaves and shoots?
Rinse carefully and let them dry in open air.