Top Ten of 2020

As 2020 comes to an end, it is a good time to gather our most-read CompassLive stories from the past year. Each one highlights the work of USDA Forest Service scientists at the Southern Research Station. We hope you enjoy reading this collection, which includes the most popular of 2020 plus a few more that…  More 

American Ginseng, in the Forest and in the Marketplace

American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) is a plant of great value. Tens of thousands of pounds are harvested from the wild each year. But the average harvest amount has dwindled, while price has skyrocketed. “It’s pretty unusual that the more effort put towards producing something, the less is produced,” says USDA Forest Service researcher Greg Frey.…  More 

Ukrainians Learn About ‘Sang

“Here’s sang-find, also known as rattlesnake fern,” said Gary Kauffman, botanist for the U.S. Forest Service National Forests of North Carolina, as he pointed out a delicately branching fern. “Ginseng used to be called ‘sang’ and sang-find is supposed to point towards the ginseng.” There were a number of other ginseng indicators in that particular cove…  More 

Tracking Those Other Forest Products

Timber is certainly the best-known forest product, but since before the time of European settlement, people have harvested other plants from the forests for a wide range of purposes. The U.S. Forest Service National Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program has assessed timber product output (TPO) for more than 60 years by surveying the primary producers of industrial…  More 

Where’s the Ginseng?

Newly published research by the U.S. Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) demonstrates that co-managing eastern hardwood forests for timber and non-timber forest products could boost local economies while helping conserve biodiversity. SRS scientist Jim Chamberlain worked with Michael McGufffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and Virginia Tech associate professor Stephen Prisley…  More 

Growing American Ginseng on Forestland

Science You Can Use Planting alternative crops such as American ginseng is increasingly popular among forest landowners. Ginseng, a native medicinal herb prized throughout the world, can be deliberately cultivated under a forest canopy. As landowners in the southeastern and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States become more aware of possible income opportunities from American…  More