A Second Spring?

Many trees in our area of eastern LI have been defoliated by this year’s brood of Gypsy Moth and Eastern Tent caterpillars. Oaks are their favorite, but many ornamental fruit trees are now also bare. This is the second year in what is typically a 2-3 year infestation, followed by a rapid drop in population. A roughly 10-year cycle of major infestation is common in this area of NY/New England.

Despite their almost total defoliation, most mature deciduous trees survive these three-year attacks (not so the conifers in the rare years they are infested).  Indeed the oaks typically grow a new set of leaves in July after the May-June defoliation! So we are now witnessing a strange combination of pines and fully leafed maples interspersed with bare oaks, some sporting new leaves. Summer, Fall and a Second Spring all at one time!


4 comments on “A Second Spring?

  1. Oh my, that’s not good. I’ve seen this same thing on a post from a MA blogger. It is their second year. Here’s hoping all the trees come back to life.

    Liked by 1 person

    • pastpeter says:

      The forestry people say mature deciduous trees can tolerate three years of defoliation, which is kind of amazing! We are already seeing new growth on the oaks.


  2. cindy knoke says:

    We have old growth California Oak glens on our property, that are so rare now. They are protected by the state. I basically don’t cough in their presence. However the bore beetles have no respect for human laws, or trees for that matter, and I hope I don’t have to watch these trees die.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Dina says:

    Upsetting news, I hope they can be saved!


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