Life's a Pitch
What a glorious day to go out and gather offerings from Our Mother. The pitch/sap content in the White Pine and Hemlock trees is high. This is a good time of year to collect the branches that have recently blown to the ground by high winds.
There is no need to take branches from live trees. Be aware of the weather. Whenever we experience a windy spell, you can go out and collect fresh material. It’s there for the taking.
You can tell by the depth of the color green if they are fresh. The same is true if there is pitch present at the notches. If you strip a small twig from a main branch, you can determine whether or not it has fallen recently. No sap means it is not loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, and other healing properties.
The next step is to break them into pieces (stems/ sticks included) small enough to fit in a ziplock, freezer bag of your choice. I do not keep the sticks that have signs of mold, mildew, fungus, spores, or scale. You do not want to make tea with that.
Make sure to mark your bag with the date. You can use this for tea or decoctions in the future. Remember the environment of these trees (and you). They can take being frozen.
Good health literally grows on trees.
All you need to do is show up and be aware.