what's eating the oaks in VA and S. MD?
Drove from Raleigh, NC to Columbia MD today. From around Petersburg, VA, up I-95 and US-301 into MD, I noticed that a lot of oak trees seemed to be partially defoliated - the leaves I could make out while driving were partially eaten - definitely "eaten" - not something like anthracnose - and some were already sprouting a new flush of leaves that appeared unaffected.
This was not full defoliation, nothing like the mid to late 90s Gypsy Moth outbreaks in OH and PA that I remember...maybe 30 - 60% defoliation or so, and not all oaks in an area were affected. Seemed worse in rural areas but I did see some in more developed areas as well.
It appears almost all the trees affected were oaks, reds moreso than whites, and the only other genus affected was Acer - a few A. rubrums had a similar thing going on but it may or may not have been the same insect.
Driving north, I started seeing it around Petersburg and Richmond, VA. It seems that the damage dropped off in Prince Georges County, MD.
It seems too early for Gypsy Moths, too late for Tent Caterpillars or Oak Leafroller...anyone noticed this? Any ideas?