Is Pine Tree Sap Edible? Need to Know the Eating Method Properly

Not everyone knows this, but a lot of things around us are edible. Say you are stranded on a mysterious island due to a shipwreck, and you are the only one alive there. As an only survivor, you wonder how to last days or even weeks, and you notice that this mysterious island is full of pine trees.

So, you wonder, is pine tree sap edible? Yes, pine tree sap is edible. But you cannot and should not go chop down a lodgepole and start eating it. There is obviously a method to it. 

Here we will learn all about eating pine tree- which part to eat, which part not to eat, and most importantly, how you eat it. Join us to learn all about it.

Is pine tree sap edible?

Yes, Pine tree sap is edible. Species such as Slippery Elm, Black Birch, Yellow Birch, Red Spruce, Black Spruce, Balsam Fir, Tamarack, etc., are edible. 

However, you can not eat it raw. There has to be a cooking phase before you can eat it. You can eat it, but it is not the same as declaring it as a meal. 

Nearly all pine trees are edible. Of course, except for a few exceptions. Norfolk Island Pine (Araucaria heterophylla), the Yew (Taxus), and Ponderosa Pines (Pinus ponderosa — aka Western Yellow Pine, Blackjack Pine, or Bull Pine) are inedible. They have poisonous barks and needles.

Now that you know which types of pine trees are edible and which are not, let us look into parts of the edible pine trees.

Edible Parts of the Pine Trees

Since you have already learned that some parts of the pine tree are edible, now we should look into what they are. The edible parts of the pine tree are Inner bark, Seeds, Needles, and Young Male Cones.

Inner Bark

It is a part of the tree that carries nutrients up the trunk. You will find them between the outer bark and the layer of softwood. First, you need to bring it out from the tree and then fry it until it’s brown and crispy. This is how you bring the inner bark out.

  • Firstly, cut through the layers of bark. Continue until you reach the wood portion. 
  • Then, you have to slide your knife between the bark and wood and pull the bark from the trunk.
  • Finally, Cut the inner bark from the outer bark and slice it into strips.

Seeds or Nuts

This is probably the most common part of many trees. You can find them inside the cones of pine trees. The seeds or nuts of the pine tree are edible, and they are full of essential minerals and vitamins for the human body, such as thiamine, protein, and vitamin B1.

Pine cones are put in the sun or by fire for a few days. This causes the cones to open, and you extract the nuts from there. You can either eat the nut raw or eat the nut roasted.


The needles of the pine trees are full of vitamin C. You can just chew them raw or make tea out of them. No kidding! This is how you prepare a pine needle tea.

Preparation of Pine Needle Tea

  • Firstly, gather around 1 1/2 pints of water to a boil and 1/2 cup of pine needles. 
  • Then, add the pine needles to the boiling water and let it cook for 5 to 15 minutes. 
  • Remember not to boil for too long because the longer the pine needles are cooked, the more vitamin C is lost. We do not want that. 
  • Lastly, strain the needles from the tea and drink.

Young Male Cones

You can easily differentiate a male cone from a female cone by looking at its size. Male cones are smaller in size. However, you can not eat it raw. They must be first harvested, boiled, and baked before getting eaten.

You will find that in the spring, pine trees are shaken, and the male cones fall. They are then collected and stored to be used in the future. These cones act as a great substitute for cornstarch or flour.

Other Uses of Pine Tree

Okay, you can eat parts of Pine trees. But what else can you do with Pine trees? There is so much you can do with Pine trees. Here, we mention a few of them.

Fire and Warm

It’s a tree, so naturally, you might have already expected a fire out of it. Pine resin is the most flammable part so use it to go camping or to survive a shipwreck. Lite a fire for warmth cause you will be needing it. But here is a warning, take only a small portion from a mature tree. The resin protects the tree from insects and diseases.

Make a Candle

Resins can be used as a temporary candle. You can easily make a candle. Here are the steps.

  • Firstly, find a container that is strong enough to withstand heat.
  • Fill that container with as much resin as you can.
  • Add a wick. Pick a wick that is organic as possible. Cotton, jute, or even organic fiber will work best as a wick.


Here are one more properties of using resin- it’s waterproof. Resins are used for the stitching of boats, shoes, and backpacks. They can also be transformed into glue by mixing it with crushed charcoal in a suitable container.


You will need the bough of the tree for this purpose. You can make a roof for the shelter by putting the needles downward. Needles are also great insulators. You can also use the needles as your beddings as well.

Final Thoughts

No one can say for sure when he will reach his lowest point. Whether its for the camping season or for an emergency situation, it’s always good to know what you can do with it. One day, this knowledge can save your life. Who knows!

Is pine tree sap edible? Yes, it is. We have answered this question by explaining why. Moreover, we have shown you what other parts of the pine tree you can eat and what else to do with pine trees. We hope this information will come to good use someday, and you will have great reason to thank us.

Read also: Is Tree Bark Edible

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *