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Booming caterpillar population strips 30K acres of NH foliage

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File photo(WJRT)
Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 12:14 PM EDT
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NORTH CONWAY, N.H. (AP) - Surveyors with the New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands have found widespread defoliation due to a population boom of moth caterpillars.

Kyle Lombard, the coordinator of the division’s forest health program, said that the department has surveyed 20% of the state and found 30,000 acres of defoliation. WCVB-TV reports that the affected trees are primarily clumps of red and black oaks.

According to the department, the last time the state experienced more than 10,000 to 15,000 acres of defoliation was in 1992. Lombard said that areas with a lot of oaks will look weird. However, the defoliation should not affect the foliage season.

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