Juneberries – A Fantastic Foraging Find & Picking Tips

Since our recent relocation to the UP, we’ve been making foraging a priority.
And we don’t have to go far to get them; our driveway, along with most of our property, is lined with them.

So, what’s a Juneberry?  It’s actually a tall shrub or tree that grows wild and tastes deliciously ripe starting in June and sometimes all the way through August.



With all of this available for no cost other than time spent foraging, we’ve been stocking up on them daily and adding them to our freezer and canned good stockpiles for winter.

Don’t these little berries look tempting?  I just love their unique taste.
They look a lot like blueberries, in my opinion, but they taste a bit more like a teeny-tiny pear.  And sometimes like a plum.  Their taste seems to be determined by the stage of ripeness.
Tips for Juneberry Picking:
  • Go with a partner; it makes picking a lot easier (not to mention faster).
  • Pick berries that are a crimson red, blue or deep purple.  Berries that are green, white or light pink are not ready to eat. 
  • Use the “chicken wing” to help pick berries from a high branch.  Gently, bend a tall branch toward the ground & secure under your arm/armpit.  Using your other hand, gently pop the berries from the tree & place into a bucket.
  • Use a large, thick strap to secure the bucket around your waste or shoulders & neck area.  This will help keep your hands free for picking.
  • Defend yourself against mosquitos.  Where you find Juneberries, you’ll likely find mosquitos too.  Wear long sleeves, a hoodie, long pants or jeans & mosquito spray. 
  • If you’re picking berries in a forest or other area that may be home to berry-loving animals, be sure to bring a weapon with you (I carry a gun & knife). A dog is also helpful to alert you to approaching animals.  Remember – it’s not just people that love berries.  Bears & their cubs eat pounds of them per day.