New growth from Spruce, Pine and Fir trees are popping out in glowing green. These soft tips are edible and medicinal. Having learned about them within the last few years and since they’re only available for a short time in the spring, I’m curious (one might call it obsessed) to learn more. We’ve been trying new recipes and making new medicines with them and plan to freeze a  few for extended use. We have an Spruce Tip Oil infusing and a Spruce Tip Vinegar to use for salads and cooking.

Spruce Tips - spring 2014

Brilliant green new growth on Spruce trees in the spring.

One of the recipes we like is Spruce Tip Mayonnaise. It can be used as a spread on BLTs or a dip for fresh vegetables or a glaze for grilled vegetables.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup fresh tips
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Chop tips finely or put in a food processor to mince. Add to mayonnaise, along with lemon juice, and stir. Let mixture sit for a couple hours to blend the flavors. Makes a great BLT spread or flavorful addition to potato salad. They have a mild flavor of spruce; a little sweetness and nuttiness too.

Harvested Spruce tips

Harvested Spruce tips


Medicinally Spruce can be used externally to soothe sore muscles. Internally, Spruce has antiseptic properties that treat respiratory infections and mucus. It is also used to treat bronchitis, coughs and asthma. A simple syrup is made by boiling the tips in water and adding honey.