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Extension Notes – Ginseng Harvest & Hiking Schedule

gwhitisSource: Shawn Wright, UK Horticulture Specialist

Kentucky  is  one  of  19  states  with  an  approved  ginseng  export  program and is the nation’s number one producer of wild ginseng  (Panix quinquefolious).  The roots have been traded continuously since the 1700’s with the biggest market being the Asian countries where roots can sell for up to $1000/pound or more for use in traditional medicine.  This high value does put tremendous pressure on the wild population however and that is why it is monitored under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) under Appendix 2. Appendix 2 is for those species that are not endangered, but the trade of it could be detrimental to that species long-term survival.

The harvest season for ginseng in KY is from September 1-December 1 and plants must be at least 5 years old and have at least 3 prongs.

Any seed that is still attached to harvested ginseng must be planted within 50 feet of the plant.  Ideal planting depth is ¾”-1” deep.

Uncertified dry ginseng may only be sold in state from September 15 to March 31 of the following year.  Uncertified green (non-dry) ginseng may be sold from September 1 through March 31 of the following year. Ginseng may be certified via a $2/pound fee and certified ginseng may be sold year-round.

A certificate of registration as a Kentucky Ginseng Dealer must be obtained by anyone who buys uncertified ginseng in the state for resale or who sells ginseng in interstate commerce. Ginseng harvested in Kentucky cannot be transported out-of-state in any manner unless it is accompanied by an export certificate obtained from the KDA.  Ginseng for international trade must also be accompanied by a phytosanitary certificate from the USDA and a CITES export certificate obtained from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.    These regulations are in place to protect the limited stock of wild ginseng growing in the forests, and to help eliminate the theft problems that can occur with this valuable and very slow-growing plant.

No permit is required to harvest ginseng on private land in the state of Kentucky.  However permission from the landowner is required.

Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, age, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Hiking Schedule for 2016- 2017

October Hikes will be part of Heritage Trail Days

• Thursday October 6th – 5:00 pm – Blue Heron with NPS

• Friday October 7th 11:00 am – Barren Fork Heritage Trail with FS

• Friday October 7th 5:00 pm – Flat Rock Loop (From Sheltowee Trace Trailhead at Flat Rock)

•Saturday – Enjoy the other festivities

• Sunday October 9th – 3 Forks of Beaver Overlook Loop at 9:00 am


• November 5th    Markers Arch, Yahoo Arch & Yahoo Falls


• December 3rd    Leatherwood Ford – Angel Falls (South End of BSF)


• January 6th – Yahoo to Alum & Back


• February 4th – Bee Rock Overlook (Rockcastle River)


• March 4th – Buffalo Canyon (Natural Arch)

• March 31-April 2nd – Hiking Weekend at Cumberland Mountain Stat Park in Crossville, TN


• May 6th – Blue Heron Loop


•June 3rd – Ride Train to Blue Heron – Hike to Dicks Gap & Catawba Overlook then picnic


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