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Pine Needle Tea from fallen branches

Pine Needle Tea from fallen branches

Walking outside is always very refreshing whenever near the sea shore. Found a larger branch of a pine fallen down by the trunk of the tree. Here the law permits everyone to collect berries, mushrooms and twigs that have naturally fallen on the ground.

So I decided to sample the top shoots, the deep lush green needles, must have been fresh. The branches also had pinecones. I wonder if those would germinate on the window sill.

Two top shoots in a half tea kettle made a nice tea that smelled of pine resin. Just to very quick boil. Taste was mild. Could definately drink pine needle tea, if coffee ran out.

Pine needles don't have much ascorbic acid

Raal, Nisuma and Meos found that Pinus sylvestris -pine needles had up to 2.7 promilles of the dry weight of ascorbic acid, thats 2.7 mg/g.

But most needle samples contained 0.2-0.4 mg/g dry weight ascorbic acid. I suppose the fresh needles are going to contain mostly water, so the low average for pine needles vitamin C content may really be just 0.05-0.1 mg/g.

And the pinecones will open and release the seed if drying in a paper bag. The seeds may even germinate if they have been stratified, which I suppose has happened if the pine cones are collected in April. According to SFGate.

Scots pine cones should be collected in the fall. Green cones are not ripe, ripening brown or gray. Pinecones may require bit of heat to open and release the seeds. Pine seeds can be stored refridgerated in plastic bags at 4° C. Stratifying pine seed happens by soaking in room temperature for two days, and then 30-60 day storage in moist sand plastic bag at 4° C. Plant soon after.

Plant scots pine seed after last spring frost date in an open sunny place in well drained acid sandy loam, protecting from local animals. Mulch layer of 10 cm leaves or straw will help protect seedlings from snow damage.

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