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Visual Site Assessment for a Woodland Ginseng Growing Operation By Bob Beyfuss Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County.

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Presentation on theme: "Visual Site Assessment for a Woodland Ginseng Growing Operation By Bob Beyfuss Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County."— Presentation transcript:

1 Visual Site Assessment for a Woodland Ginseng Growing Operation By Bob Beyfuss Cornell Cooperative Extension of Greene County

2 What is this? A tool I developed to help prospective ginseng growers evaluate their woodlands for possibly growing ginseng It is based on the ecology of wild ginseng as well as some practical considerations for would be growers Points are awarded for each of 6 different categories, the higher the score, better the chances of success

3 Category A Dominant Tree Species (50% or more of large trees present) Sugar Maple……………10 points Big Sugar Maple (diameter over 24 inches) 15 points

4 Old Sugar Maple Groves are often excellent sites

5 White Ash, Butternut, Basswood are worth 8 points

6 Tulip tree and black birch are worth 6 points

7 Oaks and Cherry are worth 5 points

8 Aspen and Hop Hornbeam (ironwood) are worth 3 points

9 Evergreens such as fir and spruce are worth zero

10 Dominant tree species continued Mixed stands containing some white pine, some hemlock, beech, some black cherry and some red maple plus some sugar maple are worth 5 points Sites dominated by yellow or white birch are worth only 2 points Disturbed sites dominated by Norway maple, ailanthus and or boxelder score 2 points

11 Category B Exposure (orientation) 1. North or northeast………5 points 2. East or southeast……….3 points 3. West or southwest……...0 points

12 Category C Slope 1. 10% to 25% …………..5 points 2. Level to 10%................2 points 3. Greater than 25%........0 points

13 Slope Ginseng will grow on very extreme slopes but unless you are part Billy Goat you will not want to try to work on slopes greater than 25% Depressions or low spots that might hold water for any length of time should be avoided Wild ginseng is most often found mid- slope

14 Category D Soil Physical Characteristics Few stones, 75% plantable……10 points Moderate, small stones (50 to 75% plantable)……………8 points Very Stony, 25% to 50%.............5 points Large rock outcrops, boulders, less than 25% plantable soil………………..3 points Soil too rocky to stick a pole in….0 points

15 What is Plantable? Walk the site carrying a four foot long pointed stick Every few steps jam the stick into the ground If you hit nothing but soil to a depth of six inches, three out of four times, it is 75% plantable. If you hit soil half the time it is 50% plantable etc.

16 Category E Herbaceous Understory Plants Reproducing population of healthy wild ginseng is, by far, the best indicator plant Score 15 points

17 Reproducing populations will have several age categories present

18 Even Sparse populations of wild ginseng are worth 10 points

19 Maidenhair fern and rattlesnake fern are worth 8 points

20 Rattlesnake fern is also called Shang Pointer

21 Red or white baneberry are worth 6 points

22 Blue cohosh and Xmas fern are also worth 6 points

23 Bloodroot and Foamflower are worth 5 points

24 All species of trillium score 5 points

25 False Solomons Seal and Mayapple score 5 points

26 Sarsaparilla and Ladys slipper score 3 points

27 Other plants are also commonly found with ginseng

28 Dis-indicator Plants Ginseng is not usually found in wet spots with skunk cabbage, willows, shrubby dogwoods, alder or false hellebore Nor is it common in disturbed sites dominated by garlic mustard, exotic honeysuckle, and Japanese barberry

29 Category F security Very Close to occupied, full time residence of potential grower within easy viewing of residence……………………10 points

30 This site is practically in the growers back yard

31 Noisy, outside dog housed nearby adds 5 bonus points

32 They dont have to be vicious!

33 Security continued Forested Land within 100 yards of growers property, patrolled regularly scores 8 points Remote woodlot within one quarter mile patrolled regularly scores 3 points Non-resident grower, weekend visitor scores zero points

34 Results of points scored 40 to 60 points means excellent site 30 t0 40 points means potentially good site 20 to 30 points, marginal site do complete soil test Less than 20 points means poor site, look elsewhere

35 Presented by


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