• Approximately 1,500 black bears live in the national park.

    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • Spring Road Status

    During spring, park roads may close due to ice, especially at high elevation where wet roads can freeze as temperatures drop at night. For road status information call (865) 436-1200 ext. 631 or follow updates at http://twitter.com/SmokiesRoadsNPS. More »

From poached to replanted with volunteer help

Dispatches from the Field > Replanting poached ginseng > From poached to replanted with volunteer help

 
Confiscated ginseng roots that were poached.

NPS photo.

Ginseng roots need the right conditions to make it through their poaching and replanting. Not all seized roots will survive: they have to be kept cool and be returned to the soil as soon as possible. Otherwise, they will dry out or rot.

 
Ginseng volunteers came to the park to help weigh and age the roots.

NPS photo.

NPS staff brief volunteers on ginseng root weighing and aging procedures.

 
Volunteer entering weights and ages of each ginseng root.

NPS photo.

Teams of volunteers worked for three days weighing and aging ginseng roots, then entered this data into the park's database.

 
Volunteers help scout replanting locations for ginseng.

NPS photo.

Volunteers helped NPS staff scout good ginseng replanting locations prior to the large volunteer planting event.

 
Volunteers replant ginseng roots.

NPS photo.

A team of volunteers, including Student Conservation Association interns, were trained to replant the dyed ginseng roots so the plants have the best chance of survival.

 
Volunteer replanting ginseng.

NPS photo.

Each volunteer carefully planted 50-100 ginseng roots at selected sites in a large watershed.

 
Ginseng that has been replanted.

NPS photo.

Successfully replanted ginseng have new green leaves peaking out from the soil, and by year two may be healthy enough to have a couple of prongs, as the clusters of leaflets are called, and even a sprig of fertile flowers waving overhead.

 

Did You Know?

Fall leaf colors are most vivid at low to mid elevations.

About 100 native tree species make their home in Great Smoky Mountains National Park—more than in all of northern Europe. The park also contains one of the largest blocks of old-growth temperate deciduous forest in North America. More...