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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: Old topic new question

Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5299

Guys, I was just reading a post from a couple of weeks ago about companion plants and got to thinking about something. Several of you guys had posts about maple and poplar trees and while I agree with this I got to wondering if it's just a local thing or do you guys also run into a lot of sasafras roots when digging seng? I guess I never really thought a whole lot about it, But it just seems like I cut through a lot of small sasafras roots while digging around here. I remember way back when I first began digging a patch and smelling fresh sasafras while digging each bunch. I still run across this very often to this day.

On a similar note about companion plants; I really don't know if one would call this an indicator, but it is often a companion around here anyways. I was thinking the other day while digging a pretty good 4-prong out of the middle of a black rasberry briar patch how many times I've done this before. I know you'll find a lot more briar patches without seng than you will with seng in it, but when everything else is right don't overlook the briar patch when there is seng in the middle of it it is usually a good one. Some of the biggest tops I've ever found have been right in the thick of it.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5303

I to have dug and smelled sassafras allot of times digging seng There is also a small bush that the leaves have a smell to them and have red berries on them i dig allot of seng around these bushes dont know the name of them .Me i have never dug seng around briar patches maybe i should look in them. bjb

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5308

bjblas wrote:

I to have dug and smelled sassafras allot of times digging seng There is also a small bush that the leaves have a smell to them and have red berries on them i dig allot of seng around these bushes dont know the name of them .Me i have never dug seng around briar patches maybe i should look in them. bjb

I think you are refering to Spiceberry bush. I have some areas that I find some seng at the lower edge of where this shrub/tree grows.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5323

Never found any near blackberries, but it grows around spice bushes like crazy. I never ignore areas around spice bushes. I was just telling a friend of mine how well ginseng does arod those bushes.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5326

Most of the time around here (Middle TN) we don't find seng where we find the Sassafras seedlings and saplings showing up.

That is uaually a indication that we are getting a bit to high and dry for seng.

Muscidine Vines, Sassafras, and those hard green briars (we call em saw briers) are all usually growing just a bit too high elevation wise for seng.

As we start down a hollow hunting for seng, we often go thru that higher area where Muscidine, Sassafras and saw briers show up and then a bit lower we start seeing ferns including maidenhair, bainberry, and that american hog peanut, and then we are getting right for seng.

As we are hunting up a hollow, when we start seeing Sassafras & Muscidine, that is usually a sign it's about time to stop looking in that direction and go back down the hill.

Often when they select cut or clear cut a hollow around here it will grow up with saplings of all kinds and blackberry briars and we do find seng growing mixed in with briars in that case. But the old hard green briars we call saw briars are usually a sign you are getting too high/dry for seng.

5prong - it is interesting that sassafras is a good sign for you but a bad sign for me. What State are you hunting in ?

Here in Middle TN where we hunt the elevation normally ranges from around 1100-1000' on the ridge tops to down around 600-700' in the hollow bottoms. We find most of our seng below the 750' level but occasinally on a north facing hill or head of a hollow that slopes to the north we do find it growing quite a bit higher than that.

TNhunter

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5332

Guys, I realized a mistake I made. It is called spice bush not spiceberry like I posted. Thats just what I've got to calling it because of those little red berries on it. TN I'm frome Ohio and it sounds like the elevation in the areas I hunt are similar to the ones you hunt also. I've found some good patches all most all the way to the top of some of the ridges around here, but usually only on the north or west facing slopes. Maybe the sasafras grows lower in the hollows around here. I usually can find it pretty far down in the hollows often around beech trees. I think in my local area the ginseng has been hunted very hard as I've seen many hollows that look just perfect for seng have very little to none in it. I remember seeing one of your responses about hard to get to places holding bigger or more seng. Seems like around you have to find a hard to reach spot to really get into much of a patch at all. Most of the patches I find around here I usually can only get 15-30 bunches (mature diggable plants). I only know of about half a dozen areas that I can do a good bit better than that. And only one of those areas that I know I could get better than 3 pounds wet out of. Most of the land has been chopped up around here. There are only about 25 properties in my whole county that are bigger than 250 acres and most of them are mostly fields, so it's even difficult to find a hard to get to area in many instances. The counties to the south and southeast of me are less populated than mine and the last few years I've been checking out a few places down that way and have found a few decent patches, but it's hard to get there after work because of the 45 or so minute drive. I know your not in the mountains, but I'd love some day to get to just walk for miles on end without coming to a road. I hope this doesn't sound like I'm whining, because that's not the case at all. I feel very blessed to know all the areas that I know and for being granted permission by so many people to look for it. And for the health to still do it!

The point to all this rambling is that a lot of the places around here the hollow bottoms have been dug out, and sometimes I think that is why I seem to find some higher up. Quite a few of the patches I've found over the years aren't even in areas that look remotely good.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5333

well i have to agree ive dug through a whole lot of sasafrass roots while digging seng. i never thought a whole lot about it. i will say this ive also hunted and dug some sasafrass root bark in my day. and while hunting for it i usually looked in areas with more sun. it seemed to grow better there unlike seng. but i have to admit ive dug through alot of those sasafrass roots this year while digging seng. i will definitely be paying closer attn. to this. and as far as finding seng in briars go im new to this one still. i never had hunted places like that before til i found some in some rough thickets earlier this year. so its a new trick for me lol.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5382

I find it interesting that someof you find sasafrass around ginseng. Sasafrass typically grows in areas with poor soil conditions and in bottom lands and waste areas. I personally have never encountered sasfrass while hunting seng. But maybe I've just never thought about it being there. On the other hand I have found seng growing places I did'nt expect like in Oak groves pine areas and in dense clay soils. It just goes to show ya that ginseng is a funny plant that does'nt follow the \"rules\" so to speak. And then again maybe people have planted seng in areas that hunters may overlook as a deturent to poachers.

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Re:Old topic new question 7 years 2 months ago #5394

I think a lot of that has to do with what the animals and birds like, after eating berries.The caverun area of ky. on the deer trails this time of year, ya can find a lot of young plants. I know where a plant has been growing in a huge beech tree root, for at least 75 years. If that tree dies it will be cut out, for now its a 3' tick monster and hollow inside but not dead yet.

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