Ramp (Allium tricoccum Ait.) weight differs across the harvest season: implications for wild plant stewardship and forest farming
A ramp or wild leek (Allium tricoccum Ait.) is a perennial forest plant indigenous to mid-western and eastern North America. Throughout this range, ramps are a popular non-timber forest product collected for an edible bulb and leaves. Regarded as a cultural keystone Appalachian wild food in the United States, demand has increased in recent years outside of this region resulting in the development of commercial collection and forest farming. Accordingly, there is a need to identify harvest and stewardship practices that can lessen harvest impacts on wild populations and improve forest farm production. One important component of ramp production is harvest timing, which most popularly occurs between March 1-May 30. This study examined the influence of harvest timing on yields, using seven recognizable phenological stages. Total ramp and bulb weight increased 250% and 400%, respectively, between emergence and peak leaf/bulb stages. Moreover, this trend was observed regardless of leaf number. Three-leaved ramps were significantly larger than two-leaved ramps at each phenological stage. It is therefore recommended that harvesters and forest farmers delay ramp harvests until 35-40 days after emergence in the spring ramp harvest season to ensure that the “peak leaf/bulb” stage has been attained and that harvesting be restricted to three-leaf plants. Because ramps are mostly sold by weight, this will lessen harvest impacts by significantly reducing the number of individual plants being removed from a population to achieve a desired weight. However, this must be balanced against the greater contribution of three-leaf plants to seed and clone production.
|Ramp (Allium tricoccum Ait.) weight differs across the harvest season: implications for wild plant stewardship and forest farming
|In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
|October 1, 2022
|Publisher Identifier (DOI)
|November 07, 2022
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