Moth caterpillars blamed for New Hampshire’s most widespread defoliation in decades

Science

NEW HAMPSHIRE (WFFF) — The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands has found widespread defoliation in the Granite State. Officials blame it on this year’s moth caterpillar population boom.

The division’s forest health program has surveyed one-fifth of the state’s land area from the air. Surveyors found 30,000 acres with leaves removed. According to the forest health program director, the last time New Hampshire experienced more than 15,000 acres of defoliation was 1992—never mind twice that much acreage.

He says areas with a lot of oak trees will likely look strange. However, he’s not expecting the defoliation to affect fall foliage much because maple, aspen, and ash trees aren’t affected by the moth larvae.

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