I was always told by my grandfather, who taught me everything I know about ginseng, that if a woods where ginseng grows is clear-cut, logged, that all the ginseng would die out and not come back.
This being said, I can not state whether this is truth or not.
My reasons for asking is this, a very good place I landed earlier this year to hunt this fall is set to be logged starting next week, they are clearing it completely. The woods are a little over 1,000 acres total and I have only been in a small portion and trust me when I say there is alot of ginseng in there. So if this were you what do you do, transplant? dig? let it die out? form a picket line in front of the log trucks? I would like to hear anyone's opinion.
I do not think digging it out of season is ever a good idea, but personally if it truly would die out then I have given some thought to possibly moving it to a similar nearby location.
I'm not really sure what the right thing to do is here, all I know is digging it is not right out of season.
I can't say with certainty that it will all survive but some of the largest Ginseng I've found came from areas with downed trees. Something will take the trees place with greater light intensity available. Whether or not you want to go through the trouble to find it then is another issue. The growth will be thick,weedy,thorny and tick infested. I have found a lot of ginseng growing in 3 foot tall grass and other weeds where trees once stood and boy was it some nice roots. It will still be there I'm sure....If the loggers don't dig it
I doubt seriously that it will die out completely in that area even if clear cut.
The roots that are going to send up a top next spring, will do that. In the early spring even with no cover they will do Ok for a month or so until it gets too hot and then then may expire.
A few years ago I transplanted a litte 2 prong to a location here close to home and it did great the first year, and then two trees on the west side of it's location died, opening it up to some serious sun from Mid day thru late evening (the worst evening sun). It would come up each spring and look great, until about mid June and then would scorch and die. But even with just a couple of months living time each year it continued to grow, put on size and started producing berries. But the last two years after producing berries, it overheated again and died with green berries on.
I transplanted it last fall to a better location.
It is hard to say for sure what will happen in a clear cut area... but I am sure they will come up next spring, and do fine for a short while (possibly only a month), but will then scorch and die back.... but will come up again the next spring... and the next as long as the root has strength left to send up anotehr top.
In just two years a clear cut area will turn into a grown up mess, with briars and saplings growing up thick... so by year 3 there will be significant amounts of shade in areas... and those roots who had enough stength left in them to continue sending up a top... they might just make it from there going forward.
Smaller younger plants without the root strength, will probably not make it.
Some older roots often go dormant for a year or two... and the ones that happen to do that at the right time, may just skip some of those extra sunny years and then come up later and do fine.
That would be my guess at how that will work out based on my experience with my little transplant that ended up in a much less than ideal place after a couple of trees died.
This is what I am worried about, I've never actually transplanted ginseng before and with as much that is in there to be honest I am afraid to try it.
Guess there is hope, with all the rain and cool weather we are getting, that they may still be up when season starts, or maybe just starting to die.
With what you said TN, makes me think I need to revisit some places. I know of at least 8-9 places I used to dig years ago that we could get about 1-1 1/2 wet pounds out of every year but I stopped going there after the places were logged. Thinking now it may be worth the hassle of fighting the briars and brush to get back out there. Most of those places I haven't been to in a good 10 years if not more.
Loggers dig a lot of ginseng. They will surely dig every plant they can find and even bring in family members to help clean it out.
Even if they don't clear cut the timber, They will surely clear the ginseng and dig any seng they can find on neighboring tracts of timber. Then in about 15 years they do the same thing all over again.
No, most Ginseng plants do not die due to logging or from fires or from droughts! The mature plants (i.e. 3 and 4 prongs or more prongs) normally go dormant when there are man made or natural disasters that take away the needed shade canopy or when there are droughts and they can no longer sustain a viable top. Sure, some of the seeds will never germinate or produce a viable root or top and some of the smaller rooted plants such as flat tops and two prongs will likely perish since their' roots do not contain enough nutrition to hold them through the dormancy period! I learned a long time ago from the old timer Ginseng hunters here in East Tennessee, that some Ginseng plants can go dormant for up to 20 years but after that, all bets are off to their survival. After the shade canopy is lost, every few years, the roots will grow and send up a top but if there is too much sunlight, the top will quickly die off and the plant will again go dormant. When the root grows and sends up a top and the shade canopy has finally regrown enough to sustain a viable plant, the plant will resume it's normal growing cycle. I have personally dug 4 pronged plants that had their' roots pushed under a logging road bank and covered over by 2 to 2 1/2 feet of dirt some 15 or more years prior to digging them. Some of these, had only been coming up for the last couple of years, were hell to dig and the roots were very small and lightweight. One of these had a total stem length of around 3 1/2 feet (i.e. 1 foot of stem above the ground not including the leafed prongs and 2 1/2 feet of stem below the ground). So to again emphasize the answer, not all Ginseng dies due to logging or from natural disasters.
We have a county in Wisconsin that is an indian reservation, Menominee in name. The astronauts in space could see it and said it is like a green square that shows up from space. Very little access, it is watched closely. Wolf river runs through it. I talked to loggers that had contracts with the native Americans to log, and when they were WAY back in the woods, some of the loggers working for the contract loggers were digging ginseng roots bigger than your hand and they fired them because they were not cutting wood. Two years ago we bought a chunk of land that was mostly hardwoods that was clearcut that had ginseng, so we shall see how it does in a few years. I think the deer eat more than people think, thus the reason for not seeing it.
Year before last I hunted a spot that was clear cut bout six years ago, found all kinds of ginseng, it's hell to get through but that keeps a lot of people out... And not all loggers know what it looks like.... That's the ones I like working with