Comments: At this time only small amounts are reported to be collected by local herbalists and small herbal tincture companies (Robyn Klein pers. comm.). 500-800 pounds of plant material is reportedly harvested (annually?) for this species from an unspecified area (Ed Fletcher pers. comm.). An individual familiar with the U.S. herbal medicinal industry states that the plant receives minor to moderate use, and estimates trade at 1000 pounds of dry root per year (McGuffin pers. comm.).
No evidence of wild-collection has been reported by Natural Heritage Program botanists. However, some collection is occurring for use in Aralia tinctures that are reportedly being made by local herbal medicine companies (Robyn Klein pers. comm., Ed Fletcher pers. comm.). There are currently no reports that individual populations have been negatively impacted or extirpated due to collection for the plant trade, but as other members of the ginseng family become increasingly rare due to wild harvesting and habitat loss, it is likely that this species will be collected more intensively as a substitute. Small, disjunct populations could be threatened in the future if harvest of wild populations of this species increases.
Aralia racemosa is listed by the United Plant Savers At Risk Forum on their "To Watch" list. This list consists of "herbs which are broadly used in commerce and which, due to over-harvest, loss of habitat, or by the nature of their innate rareness or sensitivity are either at risk or have significantly declined in numbers within their current range" (United Plant Savers 2000).
A. racemosa shows some tendency to be intolerant of habitat decline or damage. Occurrences of this species in the Chicago area tend to be in least-disturbed locations (Swink and Wilhelm 1994). In general, an increasingly small number of natural areas seem to be undamaged by pollution, hydrological alteration, logging, high deer densities, alien species invasion, or changes in fire frequencies; this is a threat to A. racemosa to the extent that it may be degradation-intolerant throughout its range.
Urban and suburban sprawl continue to eliminate forest communities in and around the core of this species' range. Logging is a threat in Manitoba (Manitoba Conservation Data Centre). Cattle grazing and residential development threaten this species in Nebraska (Gerry Steinauer pers. comm.). The small populations in Mississippi are not monitored or protected sufficiently to guarantee their survival (Ronald Wieland pers. comm.).
The life history characteristics of this species do not lend it to cultivation. The plant takes too long to grow and crop yields would probably be very low (Robyn Klein pers. comm.). There is no knowledge of any cultivation of this species (Natural Heritage Programs).