What type of canopy/tree species are required to grow ginseng, goldenseal, and/or black cohosh?

Assuming the species in question are ginseng, goldenseal, and black cohosh, look for a stand of mature hardwoods — typically beech, birch, maple, tulip poplar, oak, and cherry located on north- and northeastern-facing slopes. Some pines can be present but shouldn’t predominate. The site should have dabbled shade (70 to 85 percent) and the soils should be well drained and high in organic matter.

Is forest farming of ginseng, woody florals, ramps possible in hardiness zones of the Midwest using 3 or 5 row shelterbelts (Green ash, Eastern red cedar, Chinese elms)?

Yes. You would need to confirm that conditions in your shelterbelt agree with growing conditions for the plant(s) you want to grow. Ginseng and ramps, best grown in moist hardwood forests, may not be good choices in a Midwest shelterbelt, especially a new planting without deep shade or if the area does not have rich soils high in organic matter. If you are in a forest type (rich, moist and high in organic matter) where you know ginseng grows (or …

YouTube Channel Ginseng Series

Independent ginseng expert, Bob Beyfuss, explains the differences between woods-cultivated, wild-simulated and truly wild ginseng. We review the methods for cultivation and the resulting appearance and monetary values that are attached to each type of ginseng.

The forest type and the understory herbaceous layer are equally important when it comes to determining a good site to plant ginseng. The forest type will determine the proper shade levels and general soil type that will support ginseng …

Is forest farming of high-value medicinals a potentially profitable business? How much money could I make?

The answer to the first question is, “yes,” but the key word is, “potentially.” As with any business venture, some risk is involved, and other considerations must be factored in before deciding if a business is worthwhile.

A primary consideration before beginning forest farming is the productive range of the medicinal plant. Plants, such as American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), do not tend to grow well outside of their …