What happens now?

IMG_9063Those tan patches on the tree bark are gypsy moth egg masses. I saw a lot of them when I hiked last week in an area that was particularly hard hit. The eggs will hatch next spring and the caterpillars will devour what leaves the trees have managed to put out.

IMG_9056

The normally cool, shady trail was harshly sunlit, because there was so little canopy. Grass was growing in places where the sun now penetrates. Many of the pines were completely denuded.

IMG_9060This is a profoundly changed ecosystem. The question is, will it recover?

IMG_9054Here’s another look at those eggs. If you see any on trees or outdoor furniture on your property, scrape them off. And keep your fingers crossed that next year, the infestation won’t be as terrible as this year’s.

 

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About dirtynailz

Writer for a daily newspaper, gardener, tree hugger, orchid-grower, photographer, animal lover, hiker, wilderness seeker. Proponent of clover in the lawn and a dog on the bed.
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6 Responses to What happens now?

  1. CJ Wright says:

    Thanks for this, dn. I had no idea and will look for the little rascals.

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  2. The gypsy moths were brutal where I am in Cumberland. Fear for a couple of favorite, 50 year-old maples. Have done my best to remove eggs. Sad, sad, sad. Dry weather, forest floor exposed to sunlight. I don’t like the scenario.

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    • dirtynailz says:

      The thing that scares me the most is the potential for continued devastation next year. I can’t imagine our landscape without trees.

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  3. Anubis Bard says:

    Living in Pennsylvania in the 80’s, I saw huge swaths of the state denuded. One bad year (like we just had) doesn’t do too much harm, but a second will kill the pines and some of the weaker deciduous trees. Back when, we owned property in the northeastern part of the state, where three bad years in a row pretty much killed off most of the mature trees. You’d never know it today, except there’s still a lot more raspberry there then there ever had been . . .

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