Eating Hawthorn leaves in Spring
Poisonous Yew Tree
What leaves to eat in April!
My children love to eat straight from the tree. In fact, very little produce from our allotment makes it home. Out in nature, we need to ensure children are 100% confident that what they are eating from the tree is safe. Knowing that some leaves are delicious but some are poisonous is essential, and actually quite exciting for children. Work together to identify specific safe trees to pick from and make sure they check before helping themselves to random leaves from random trees in the future. I found the Woodland Trusts A-Z of native trees a good resource. https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/trees-woods-and-wildlife/british-trees/a-z-of-uk-native-trees
The only time I’ve saved someone life is when I pointed out to a 40 year old man that it may not be a great idea to be scoffing yew berries like they were raspberries. The seeds inside the berries are highly toxic due to taxine alkaloids as are the needles. It’s best to learn young!
Yew trees are an important tree for children to know never to eat. This is what Yew needles look like.
These are 3 trees that are good to nibble from and pretend you are a giraffe! Or you can take them home and add them to your salad.
The young green leaves taste have a slight lemony taste like sorrel.
Known as the Bread and Cheese tree by the older generation; too me it tastes nothing like bread and cheese and just like a fresh leaf. Here are the reasons I’ve heard for this name.
- It was as common as eating bread and cheese, almost a way of referring to it as a staple.
- You can make a sandwich using the leaves and the berries, I actually think the young leaves have a slightly nutty taste.
- My favourite reason is this. Yellow hammer birds love hawthorn and there call sounds like “a little bit of bread and no cheeese!”
Lime/ Linden trees
The leaves are slightly crunchy like some kinds of lettuce.