From towering spruces to delicate birches, Newfoundland and Labrador is home to a diverse range of 21 tree species. While some are well known for their beauty or commercial value, others have a rich history and unique properties that are lesser known to the public.
These are some of the trees you’ll find in your adventures in Newfoundland.
One such tree is the black spruce, a common sight throughout the province’s boreal forest. While it may not be the most glamorous tree, the black spruce has a long history of use by Indigenous peoples for its medicinal properties. The needles of the black spruce are high in vitamin C, making them a valuable source of nutrition during the harsh winter months. The tree’s resin was also used topically to treat wounds and infections. Today, black spruce oil is often used in aromatherapy and skincare products for its soothing properties.
Another tree with both historical and medical significance is the white birch. Known for its distinctive white bark, this tree has been used by Indigenous peoples for centuries to make canoes, baskets, and other items. The bark also has medicinal properties and has been used to treat a variety of ailments, including headaches, fevers, and skin conditions.
The balsam fir is another tree species found throughout Newfoundland and Labrador with notable medicinal properties. The tree’s resin, also known as balsam, has antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for treating coughs, colds, and respiratory infections. Balsam fir oil is also commonly used in aromatherapy for its relaxing and grounding effects.
Mountain Ash (Rowan Tree)
For those interested in Newfoundland and Labrador’s cultural heritage, the rowan tree is a must-know. Also known as the mountain ash, this tree is considered sacred by many Indigenous groups and was once believed to protect against evil spirits. Its berries have a tart, sour flavour and are often used to make jelly or syrup. The rowan tree also has a reputation for its medicinal properties, with the berries being used to treat colds, flu, and digestive issues.
Newfoundland White Pine
Finally, no article about trees in Newfoundland and Labrador would be complete without mentioning the iconic Newfoundland White pine. This tree is a symbol of the province’s logging history, with many communities relying on the industry for their livelihoods. While the tree itself has few medicinal properties, its wood has been used for everything from shipbuilding to furniture-making.
As you can see, the trees of Newfoundland and Labrador are more than just pretty scenery. They have a rich history and unique properties that make them essential to both the region’s culture and well-being. Whether you’re interested in natural remedies or simply enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, take the time to appreciate the many tree species that call this province home.