Did you notice something off about the trees in parts of the Capital Region trees last summer?

Ed-Ni-Photo
Ed-Ni-Photo
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I certainly noticed it. It was subtle at first, but when it caught my eye there was a glaring hole in what is usually a lush, green summer landscape in Upstate New York: THERE WERE NO LEAVES ON THE TREES!

I vividly recall driving up the Northway in Saratoga County at one point last summer, thinking to myself "The trees are pretty bare for the middle of summer." I couldn't believe how bare the trees were. They looked like they normally would in the dead of winter!

dec.ny.gov
dec.ny.gov
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Well, it looks like the foliage will face another rough summer because of a little pest that is not native to Upstate New York.

According to a story from New York Upstate (NYUP), we can expect the leaves on deciduous trees to once again get ravaged this summer by spongy moth caterpillars. A New York State Department of Conservation (DEC) representative says in the article they are seeing spongy moth "egg masses" laid on trees that would indicate another summer of "defoliation" in areas like Warren and Saratoga Counties, the Mohawk Valley, and Finger Lakes.

The DEC says the spongy moth (Formerly known as the gypsy moth) is not native to New York and is actually from France and the "...moth caterpillars are known to feed on the leaves of a large variety of trees such as oak, maple, apple, crabapple, hickory, basswood, aspen, willow, birch, pine, spruce, hemlock, and more." NYUP says The moths are cyclical and usually go up in numbers every 10-15 years, with a typical 3-year boom, and then numbers will dwindle again.

The good news is healthy deciduous trees can re-grow their leaves within weeks. Pine trees on the other hand can be killed by the moths feeding.

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