Well I found ZERO ginseng on my 8 mile, 3000ft elevation gain, hike yesterday. There was an occasional pine tree or two, but the majority of the forest was maple and oak. I forgot what the tree companion plants are. As for the small companion plants, I looked near fern, but didn't see any others.
Heading out today to look at a new property I just got permission to dig. The topo map of it doesn't look great, but I've got several patches withing a half mile on two sides of this property, so there is hope.
Well there were plenty of steep slopes that were well shaded and I looked in those places. I don't believe most or any were NE facing though. And there were TONS of this one plant that I've been trying to identify for an hour or more. It looks like this but without the flower:
With leaves pointing in opposite directions in a 90 degree angle.
The picture looks like bergamont, the one you are seeing may be pink root. It has opposite leaves and grows 1-2.5 feet tall and grows in shaded areas but usually a little brighter and drier than ginseng habitat.