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Follow Harvest Stewardship and always comply with your State Ginseng Rules and Regulations when collecting wild ginseng roots.
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TOPIC: Why stick up ginseng tops

Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 3 weeks ago #26392

All my life ive wondered why some people stick up tops with no berrys . I only stick them up if some green berrys remain first i pinch all the leaves off but one seems like they ripen faster that way. any way would like to know different peoples reasoning on this subject thanks everyone

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 3 weeks ago #26394

Hi Leebros,

Let me be sure I understand you. Are you suggesting that you harvest ginseng which has green berries (not yet ripened) and stick the top into the ground so the berries continue to ripen on the stem?

Here (Ohio) it is not legal to harvest ginseng with green berries. So, if we find an otherwise legal plant which has green berries, we have to pass on it until the berries turn red.

That being said, If I am not going to keep the tops (which I always do now) I would always bury the tops in the hole to keep other people from seeing where I\"ve been digging and what I was digging (large 4s etc). Putting them up just seems to defeat that purpose to me.

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26414

Leebros! wrote:

All my life ive wondered why some people stick up tops with no berrys.


Who knows for sure why some folks do so! Some poachers may stick the tops back in the ground and scatter leaves and debris back over the dig spot to erase evidence that they had been there. Others may do it out of fun in hopes that they will hear someone complain that they went to the same spot and found nothing but tops with no roots. I was digging once in the National Forest with a friend and he had a habit of doing this. While there a couple of guys came in later in the afternoon and were Ginseng hunting where he had been. You should have heard the two guys cussing because all they were finding was tops with no roots! It was sort of funny and I told my friend that he was bad. LOL!! Personally, I planted tops back in the ground in 2012 with a portion of the root neck attached to include the bud to see if they would regenerate a root. So far, I have been unable to determine if it will work as apparently the roots have either rotted away or gone dormant as they sometimes do due to injuries!


Frank

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26416

just to be clear in ky it is legal to harvest ginseng with unripened berrys and the plants i personaly stuck up had mostly ripe berrys which i replanted then stuck up to let the rest ripen. just trying to avoid any miss understandings for you should never harvest any plant even in ky that only has green berrys.

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26419

OK just a few items. If one were to plant a green or partially ripe berry they would have a much better chance of germinating than if left on a plant top to ripen only to fall off and lay on top the leaves to dry out thus rendering it useless.

Second, I have dug roots from my own beds to use personally but left the bud and root neck back in the ground about an inch or more deep.
A new plant will come up and grow the following year or two even with the majority of the root missing.
Latt

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26425

you are probily right about just going ahead and planting all the berrys thanks here to learn any thing i can. had a buddie who grows try planting part of the neck of large fours almost always came back as small two or three the next year i dont know if they ever grew a new root though

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26427

On the topic of breaking off the necks and replanting them...

I know that this will work to continue the plant you just harvested. it works much better if there is a few feeder roots coming off the neck which are also left behind.

However, with the shifting of the market toward quality over quantity, and the availability of seed on the market, I would personally discourage this practice.

Here's why. As the market moves toward favoring higher quality and the powers that be have us under a microscope, I think it is best to leave your harvested roots intact. Not only does it show the export inspectors the true age of our harvested plants (better for our long-term ability to continue to harvest ginseng) but it also improves the quality considerably. If you were to bring me a bucket of beautiful ginseng every root large and bulby the size of my thumb...but all the necks were broken off, I guarantee you it would cost you as much or more than a pound of seed would cost. That bucket of ginseng without the tops is now slightly damaged. Some damage is unavoidable and happens. Everyone expects that to a very slight degree. However, if those necks are not in the bottom of the box, the USDA inspectors can refuse export to the shipment of ginseng. Certainly this is an exceptional example, but who wants to take those chances when prices are as high as they are this year?

I really would suggest taking seed with you, and when you decide to harvest a plant, harvest the whole plant. Dig it without damage, wash it lightly, and dry it properly. And please folks....start using those 99 cent plastic shoe boxes from Walmart instead of the plastic bags to carry your ginseng! ;)

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26428

Brad,

I totally understand your reasoning as well as the Ginseng Exporters/Importers and USDA Inspectors'reasoning on this matter. However, if this practice was promoted as another way to help Ginseng survive when it is on it's way to becoming endangered, I believe that many of these folks would change their way of thinking! Hopefully, they will see it for what it is and that it is just another method to conserve Wild Ginseng, so that it will be around a lot longer without making it onto the top of the Endangered Species List and thus becoming banned. If a person only did this practice or method with truly older plants and roots and that they left 10 or more scars on the neck of the root harvested, I believe that this would be more accepted by everyone and probably more beneficial to the plant and root neck being replanted.


Frank

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26434

Stats I have seen before...

A berry that is planted has a 8x better chance of germination than one that just falls off.

After August 15, more than 50% of green berries will germinate if planted. Now that season opens Sept 1 in most places that percentage would be even higher.

I would not stick a ginseng stalk back in the ground after digging in hopes of those green berries ripening and falling off and germinating. I think those green berries that are filled out (after August 15) will have a much better chance of germinating if you plant them.

TNhunter

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Re:Why stick up ginseng tops 4 years 2 weeks ago #26440

I was taught to stick the plant back in the ground. that the turkeys would eat the berries and poop them out. no idea if that is true. I now think I will take the plant to make tea and either give the berries to my neighbor or put them back in the ground. I'm not going to dig any more of the root if I do find any. I've been out walking up and down hollows marking cohosh patches and haven't seen any sang. I guess this mt I'm on has been hunted hard. those of you who are in an area not hunted hard are blessed. I boil the whole plant and after it cools mix tang with it and keep it in a jug in the frig. I only take a drink each day.

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