CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) — The 2023 ginseng harvest season began Friday, the West Virginia Division of Forestry (DOF) announced.

Harvest season will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 30. The DOF is asking those who plan on harvesting ginseng to follow the state’s regulations in order to preserve the threatened and endangered wild root.

Ginseng is slow-growing and must be at least five years old, with bright red seed-bearing berries to be able to be legally harvested, and hunters are legally required to plant seeds at the site where they took roots.

Harvesters must have written permission to dig on private property and are not permitted to take ginseng from West Virginia state forests, state parks or other state-owned land. National Forest Service land does allow ginseng harvesting with a permit. Click here for more information about how to obtain one.

Harvesters have until March 31, 2024, to sell their ginseng to a registered West Virginia ginseng dealer or to have roots weight-receipted at one of the DOF weigh stations. Possession of ginseng roots from April 1 through Aug. 31 without a weight receipt from the DOF is prohibited.

Click here for more information from the DOF, including ways to identify mature ginseng plants, rules for harvesting and resources such as lists of West Virginia ginseng dealers and weigh stations.