Many conifer needles are used to make tea, usually due to their high level of Vitamin C. Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) is found in central and eastern Oregon, and those berries are edible. I use crushed juniper berries in my turkey brine every Thanksgiving.

Though I see no problem using the needles in a tea, I think they would be very woody and hard to eat, even in a smoothie! Spring would give you the most tender, new shoots, which might be preferable.

I would stay away from ornamentals as you don't know if or what they have been sprayed with.

Was this page helpful?

Related Content from OSU Extension

Ask an Expert

Have a Question? Ask an Expert!

Ask an Expert is a way for you to get answers from the Oregon State University Extension Service. We have experts in family and health, community development, food and agriculture, coastal issues, forestry, programs for young people, and gardening.

Ask Us a Question