. – Division of Forestry officials announced today that the ginseng digging season starts Monday, Sept. 1 and runs through Sunday, Nov. 30.
Only ginseng plants that are five years old or older may be dug. The age of the plant is determined by the number of prongs; only plants with three or more prongs are considered old enough to harvest. West Virginia law mandates that anyone digging ginseng is required to replant the seeds from the parent plant in the spot where it was harvested.
The following laws also apply to the harvesting of ginseng:
-Diggers have until March 31 of each year to sell to a registered West Virginia ginseng dealer or have roots weight-receipted at one of the Division of Forestry weigh stations.
-Possession of ginseng roots is prohibited from April 1 through Aug. 31 without a weight-receipt from the Division of Forestry.
-Anyone digging ginseng on someone else’s property must carry written permission from the landowner allowing him or her to harvest ginseng on the property.
-No permit is needed to dig wild ginseng.
-Digging ginseng on public lands, including state forests, wildlife management areas or state parks, is prohibited.
For more information about ginseng, contact Robin Black or John Rowe at (304) 558-2788.