Edible Mast

Edible Mast

Mast producing trees and shrubs are most often valued for their beauty and wildlife uses, but many types of hard and soft mast are also edible by humans. In fact, many are considered delicacies! Many types of fruits, nuts, and berries are also valued for their health benefits.

By planting trees and shrubs that produce edible mast, you can enjoy fresh, healthful food from your own backyard while cutting your grocery bill and reducing your carbon emissions. Fruit, nut, and berry producing trees and shrubs also improve local food security and can even be turned into a lucrative business!

The most popular types of native edible mast include:

Some native edible species have been largely replaced by more prolific cultivated species from Eurasia, including many of North America’s native apple, hazelnut, and chestnut species.

Other native edible species were widely used by American Indian tribes for food, but are lesser known as edible plants today, including oaks, serviceberries, chokeberries, salal, and some viburnums.

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/calliope/3999025000/