I had a great conversation with mr hsu a couple of years ago about his thoughts on what i was doing with the wild-simulated, he assured me that i was definately on the right path. One thing that i picked up on from him was that he was interested in ginseng grown at certain elevations. It was funny to me because i already knew how big he was and that he was a very busy man commuting back and forth between the west coast and china. But i had called his company inquiring about seed and asked for him by name and the operator told me that he was out of state, then they said would you like his cell phone number? hmmmmm....yes, yes sir i would.
Great story. What elevations did he prefer and why? That's a new one to me.
mr hsu had asked me where in the u.s. i lived and i told him then he asked me about the elevation of the land, i took that to mean was it sloped or flat. I told him that it was planted on some pretty steep hillsides and he said no, what...how high is the land, then he said altitude, he basically said that the best ginseng that he purchases comes from the mountainous regions on the east and north in the states because the ginseng is able to achieve a greater size. He did tell me at what elevation he liked, however since it was not of intrest to me at the time, i did not retain that information..i wish i would have recorded our conversation...hind sight is 20/20
I think the interest in elevation is due to the temp and moisture level of the forest. In WV ginseng tends to grow very well at about 1,200 foot above sea level according to an article I read. I also know morels will run a bit stronger along a certain elevation at times. So it must be due to temps and moisture.
\"Ginseng likes cold, dark and wet weather. Heat, too much light, or not enough moisture will kill it. It is very picky as to the quality of soil in which it will grow. It prefers deep loose soil that extends downward very deeply. It requires humus, or topsoil rich in nutrients of decomposing leaves from neighboring trees. It also prefers water that passes through the soil, rather than stagnating around the root.\"
I know some of the mountains in NY,PA,MD,WV,VA,TN and NC have many locations much higher that 1,200 foot above sea level that many of you guys on this board are used to hunting ginseng at.
I have not hunted ginseng in the mountains just the foot hills. So I would suspect many of you would know if higher elevations are truly cooler and moist which may be a reason for the interest in elevation.
The area that I live in (southern middle TN) the topo runs from around 600' above sea level in the lowest big main creek bottoms, up to around 1000-1100' above sea level on the highest main ridges.
No mountains here - just lots of hills and hollows.
Most of the seng we find is in the below 750' elevation levels.
Occasionally on a high hill that faces due north or the head of a hollow that faces due north you will find it quite a bit higher than that.
Most of the time when we start down a hollow around here (from the head going down) you start off with lots of briars and muscadime and sassafrass and no ginseng - then as you get lower down in the hollow, you may start seeing a gravel rock bottom creek, and it will start looking better, then on down the hollow (usually around the 720-750' level) the creek turns to slick rock bottom and we also often start seeing rock above ground (rock outcroppings) and then there will be a nice drop in elevation about that point (water fall) and BOOM the seng starts showing up.
It may just be that at that elevation where the rock starts showing up is the key to seng appearing. Mineral rich (calcium) soil at that point.
I have never hunted in the mountains, but sure would like to.
I am sure it is a completely different ball game there, with seng growing up 2 miles high (as Billy says in his video).