Thursday, 3 October 2013

Abies koreana

Today our main objective was to track down some wild Abies koreana and Pinus koraiensis. These trees used to be abundant in Korea, but due to the Korean war in the 1950s much of the native population was destroyed.

Most of the Pinus koraiensis and Abies koreana that adorn the hillsides in Korea today have been planted in an attempt to rejuvenate the native population.

However, for the purposes of seed collecting we would prefer a seed from a wild population to that of a planted population.

On a tip from the Korean Forest Service we returned to the construction site of the new Korean arboretum.

Here we found a population of Pinus koraiensis, but unfortunately for us this season's cones had all opened and the seed was gone.

Timing is key for these kinds of expeditions but sometimes it takes a little luck, which sadly, was lacking this morning.

Undeterred we pushed on and managed to collect the seed from a Pinus densiflora (from a very unusual source) before pushing on to the Sobaek Mountain National Park in search of the elusive Abies koreana.

Ki-Cheol stood in front of the Pinus densiflora
Bonghwa to Sobaek Mountain National Park

To our delight our luck turned and we found some nestled on the ridge of a mountain and collected the seed which was in abundance.

Abies koreana clinging to the ridgeline

After collecting the seed we travelled to Yeongju, where we we lucky again to find that it was the opening day of their local Ginseng festival. We weren't entirely sure what was going on, but it was enjoyable nevertheless!

Ginseng Festival

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