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    Great Smoky Mountains

    National Park NC,TN

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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?

Great Horned Owls can be heard most often in January and February

More than 240 species of birds have been found in the park. Sixty species are year-round residents. Nearly 120 species breed in the park, including 52 species from the neo-tropics. Many other species use the park as an important stopover and foraging area during their semiannual migration. More...