Homemade Tree Tip Syrup


* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.


Homemade tree tip syrupHarvest spruce, fir or pine tree tips to make delicious tree tip syrup at home with just two simple ingredients! Make your own homemade syrup out of tree tips and brown sugar and enjoy over breakfasts, desserts or in cocktails.

* * *

Back when I was still living in the city with limited space and a north-facing balcony, I wasn’t able to grow food like I do today. But I still wanted to play a role in my own food production. 

I began learning how to make things from scratch, preserve at a very basic level, and forage for simple-to-identify wild foods

Then one day, I picked up a copy of the Urban Homesteading Cookbook at my local library and decided to bring it along on a camping trip my husband and I were taking. I flipped through the pages as we sat around the fire.

The book was full of recipes and bits of insight from the author: a conservation biologist who was homesteading out of her high-rise condo in the heart of downtown Vancouver: proof that even people in the tiniest of urban spaces can be homesteaders too.

She kept meat rabbits in her tiny, 400-square-foot apartment, quail on her balcony, an aquaculture tank to grow plants and even grew mushrooms in her closet! I was fascinated and inspired to dive into homesteading despite the fact that I still lived in the city too. 

Amongst the pages of this book was a recipe for tree tip syrup. It seemed like such a novel idea to

a) make your own syrup, and

b) make it from tree tips, that I knew this is something I had to try. 

The syrup is made with two simple ingredients: brown sugar and new green tips from spruce, fir or pine trees. These tips are the new growth on the tips of the branches in the spring. They’re bright green in colour, soft in texture and citrusy in flavour. They’re also edible and high in Vitamin C, and can be used to flavour all sorts of dishes either as an herb or a preserve.

And lo and behold… we were camping in May, right at the exact time all the new tree trips were growing. I looked up and literally almost every tree was bursting with bright green new growth. 

I packed a freezer bag full of them and stuck them in our cooler until we got home. This part was important because I couldn’t let them dry out since the recipe requires that the tree tips be moist.

Homemade Tree tip Syrup


How to make tree tip syrup

Back in my kitchen, I pulled out my bag of tree tips and began stuffing them in a Mason jar. As per the recipe in the book, I packed a layer of tree tips onto the bottom of the jar, then followed that with a thick, packed layer of brown sugar. Then I layered more tree tips and more brown sugar, and repeated this until my jar was full. And then, I waited.

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup

Over the course of a couple weeks, the sugar drew out the moisture from the fresh tree tips and began to liquefy. When the sugar had completely liquefied, I strained out the tree tips, and bottled my freshly-made syrup.

I was pleasantly surprised at how citrusy it tasted, and I convinced myself that even though it was really just pure sugar (like all syrups), at least it had the added benefit of containing lots of vitamin C, right?

In either case, it was damn delicious too, especially over pancakes or vanilla ice cream.

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup Recipe

But also in cocktails, like this tree tip mojito, made with mint, lime, fresh tree tips and tree tip syrup.



How to forage for tree tips

Tree tips tend to be ripe for the picking throughout the month of May here in the Pacific Northwest. You’ll know as soon as you see the bright green tips shoot out from the ends of the branches. Just remember to harvest responsibly and only take what you need.

You can store your tree tip syrup in the pantry or the refrigerator. While I’m not sure of the shelf life, I had a bottle in my pantry for two years that was just fine. I’ve only ever had one batch go moldy, in which case I tossed that bottle. Otherwise this has always proven to be pretty shelf stable, as well as being a crowd pleaser at family breakfasts and holiday brunches.

You can also make tea, jelly, infused oils, vinegar and alcohol from tree tips. If you’ve never tried them, I highly recommend making this the year that you do!

I would also highly recommend a copy of The Urban Homesteading Cookbook to anyone interested in learning more about foraging (especially in the Pacific Northwest) and/or homesteading in tiny, urban areas. Looking back, that book made a huge impact on me at that time in my life and pushed me to move deeper into the homesteading, made-from-scratch lifestyle even while I was still living in my own condo in the city.

And now that I live on 1/4-acre homestead on the edge of the forest, far from the big city where I used to live, I’m still making tree tip syrup every spring. The only difference is, now the trees are literally in my backyard:)


Harvest spruce, fir or pine tree tips to make delicious tree tip syrup at home with just two simple ingredients! Make your own homemade syrup out of tree tips and brown sugar and enjoy over breakfasts, desserts or in cocktails. #treetips #trretipsyrup #homemadesyrup

Homemade Tree Tip Syrup


  • 1 to 2 cups of fresh spruce, fir or pine tree tips (the bright green new-growth tips in season in late spring)
  • Brown sugar


  1. Harvest the tree tips by pulling them gently off the end of the branches by their base. Discard any papery covering still left on them. Harvest responsibly!
  2. Rinse the tree tips off and let any excess water dry off.
  3. Pack a layer of tree tips tightly at the bottom of a Mason Jar. Then pack a tight layer of brown sugar over top of the layer of tree tips.
  4. Continue alternating layers of tree tips with brown sugar until the jar is tightly packed all the way to the top.
  5. Once the jar is packed, screw the lid and band on (you can reuse old lids), and leave in a cool place to sit for a couple weeks.
  6. Turn and lightly shake the mixture every few days in order to mix it up and allow any sugar sitting at the bottom of the jar to blend in and liquefy. Continue to add sugar (and tree tips if you have more) to the mixture as the sugar liquefies and condenses, leaving room in the jar.
  7. After the sugar has completely liquefied, strain out the tree tips and bottle your syrup in a bottle or another Mason Jar and store in a cool, dark place.


Wishing you homemade, homegrown, homestead happiness 🙂









Submit a Comment

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Hi! I’m Anna, and I’m a city girl turned modern homesteader who’s passionate about growing, cooking and preserving real food at home, creating my own herbal medicine and all-natural home and body care products, and working toward a simpler, more sustainable and self-sufficient life each and every day. 
You Might Also Like
DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub Recipe

DIY Peppermint Sugar Scrub Recipe

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   This DIY peppermint sugar scrub is one of the quickest, easiest and frugal(ist?) homemade gifts ever. Plus you can make it entirely out of things you probably...

read more

Easy Homemade Chai Tea Mix

Easy Homemade Chai Tea Mix

* This article contains affiliate links. For more information, please read my Affiliate Disclosure.   I’ll be honest… I’m not a tea drinker. In fact, I could probably go the rest of my life without drinking another cup of tea and I’d be alright. But take away my...

read more

How many ways can you think of to put a greenhouse to use in the winter?

Sure, greenhouses are a great way to extend your gardening season into fall, or to create an even warmer microclimate for heat-loving crops like tomatoes and peppers in the summer, but they also provide a warm space to grow food (and ornamental flowers and plants) right through the winter months.

But that’s not the only way you can use a greenhouse year-round! To learn more about how to put an existing greenhouse to good use in the winter (or why you should consider adding a greenhouse to your property if you haven’t yet), be sure to check out the Greenhouse Effect feature in the Winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, written by contributor Lori Austin of @hollandgirlgfdf.

Subscribe to Modern Homesteading Magazine via the link in my bio or go to http://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to gain instant access to this issue along with our entire digital library of past issues!

Do you have a greenhouse or are you considering one for your homestead? How do you put your greenhouse to use during the winter months?

Most importantly, have you subscribed to Modern Homesteading Magazine yet???

#wintergarden #wintergardening #greenhouse #wintergreenhouse #greenhouselife #greenhouses

Every year during the month of January, I challenge myself to eat as much as possible from the food that we’ve stored over the past year.

Three years ago I decided to make this a public challenge and invited anyone who wanted to participate to join me. Every year, hundreds of other homesteaders (and non-homesteaders alike!) join me in doing what has now become an annual Homestead Pantry Challenge, and this year is no different!

As homesteaders, so much of our year is spent planning and preserving food for the winter, and so it seems fitting to plan winter meals around the food we’ve worked hard to store.

Not to mention, January tends to be the time of year when most of us are feeling tapped out from the Holidays and ready to save some money, get organized and set new goals for the new year.

Kicking off the new year with a pantry challenge is a great way to accomplish all of the above goals and is, in essence, a celebration of all the hard work we’ve put into our food storage and preservation over the past year, while also showing us where we need to focus (or refocus) our efforts in the coming year.

If you haven’t joined the 2022 Homestead Pantry Challenge yet, it’s totally free to join and is VERY customizable, so even if you don’t want to eat down your entire pantry, you can still use it to get organized and put your creativity in the kitchen to the test!

In past years this challenge has been hosted mostly here on Instagram, but this year I’m hosting it via email as well for anyone who isn’t on Instagram. Due to some other personal reasons, the challenge won’t be as Instagram heavy this year, so all of the instructions, assignments, details and resources will be delivered via email when you sign up for the challenge!

You can sign up for free via the link in my bio, or by going to https://thehouseandhomestead.com/pantry-challenge/

If you’re just looking for some tips to help you eat from your pantry (at any time of year!), save money and plan meals around what you’ve got, I’ve also got a full blog post with 8 tips to help you eat from your pantry (link also in bio).

Are you participating in the Homestead Pantry Challenge this year?

What’s your signature holiday move?

In the winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine, @homemakerchicpodcast hosts @shayeelliott and @parisiennefarmgirl share tips and tricks to help you become the CEO of Christmas in your own home.

From menu planning to decor to packing it all up and starting with a fresh, clean slate come January 1st (or December 27th;), get homemaking advice from the pros for the holidays (and beyond) in the latest issue!

Link in bio to subscribe @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com to read the full interview and much more!

I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of looking out the window and seeing THIS!

For years I lived in places that had kitchens with no windows over the sink. I dreamed of having a home where I could stand in the kitchen doing dishes and look out at the world. And not just at any world, but at the NATURAL world.

I feel so at home tucked in the forest. It’s good energy out here. And it’s always beautiful, whether I’m looking out at vibrantly coloured flowers or leaves or at the Earth blanketed in snow.

My life’s a lot more mundane and humble than it used to be in my younger years when I spent most of my time travelling the world, seeing new places and meeting new friends. But today most of my joy comes from being in this place with the birds and forest critters and chickens and rabbits (and of course my family and fur babies that I share this house with!) I don’t currently feel the need to explore the world at this point in my life because there’s enough to look at right outside my window.

Today this view is what I’m grateful for. What are you grateful for today? (Remember, there’s nothing too small to be grateful for:)

Winter often gets a bad rap for being the coldest, darkest, dreariest season of the year, when life as we knew it in the summer ceases to exist.

But winter offers us a much-needed reprieve from the busy-ness of the rest of the year;

A time to slow down, rest, reflect and dream;

A time to give ourselves over to the projects, hobbies, crafts and activities that we just don’t seem to have time for the rest of the year;

A time to devour books, soak up knowledge, learn new skills and sharpen old ones.

The winter issue of Modern Homesteading Magazine showcases just a few of the many unique activities, projects and opportunities that this season affords us the time to immerse ourselves in.

Here’s what you’ll find in this issue:

✨ Inspiration and ideas to help you make the most of winter on the homestead
🌱 The many ways to put a greenhouse to use all year long
🥂Homemaking tips for the holidays (and beyond!) with Homemaker Chic podcast hosts Shaye Elliott & Angela Reed
🍴Holiday recipes & comfort foods, featuring Honey Taffy, Mulled Wine and Winter Squash
🪵 Winter woodworking tutorials with The Humble Handyman and Anne of All Trades
❄️ And more!!!

To read the full issue AND get instant access to our entire library of past issues (26 value-packed issues and counting!), click the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or go to https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

P.S. When you subscribe during the month of December, you’ll also get a coupon code for a free one-year subscription that you can gift to someone you love!

Give the gift of self-sufficiency this Christmas —> https://modernhomesteadingmagazine.com

We’re all familiar with eggnog, but have you ever wondered what “nog” is anyway, or how this decadent holiday drink came to be?

The general consensus is that eggnog originated in England in the 17th Century and was made with eggs, milk and some sort of alcohol (aka. “nog”).

It may have even been enjoyed earlier than this, as a similar beverage called posset (a hot, milky, ale-based drink) has origins dating back to the 13th century.

As I was researching this topic, I found at least one source that claims eggnog was created by mixing alcohol with eggs and milk earlier in the season when egg and milk production was at a high. The alcohol was used to preserve the dairy products so that they could be consumed during the winter months when egg and milk production was low.

It was originally made with sherry or brandy, but when eggnog reached America it was typically spiked with rum because rum was easier to come by. Eventually some people started substituting American whiskey.

Nowadays we can drink eggnog with or without alcohol, but traditionally eggnog was always an alcoholic drink that wealthy folks (who could afford milk and eggs and alcohol) would use to toast to their prosperity.

Eggnog has remained a favourite beverage around Christmas time; One that most of us are accustomed to buying in a carton from the grocery store. But like most processed foods, store-bought eggnog is often loaded with additives like high fructose corn syrup and thickeners.

This holiday season, why not make your own eggnog instead?

All you need are fresh eggs, milk, cream, sugar and a little nutmeg (and an optional cinnamon stick) to garnish.

If eggnog is on your list of holiday must-haves but you’d rather avoid the processed grocery store stuff and make your own with fresh ingredients, you can grab the full recipe via the link in my bio @thehouseandhomestead or by visiting https://thehouseandhomestead.com/old-fashioned-homemade-eggnog-recipe/

What’s your position on eggnog? Do you love it or hate it? And if you spike it with alcohol, what alcohol do you prefer?

© The House & Homestead | All Rights Reserved | Legal

Skip to Recipe