Posted 09/10/2019 in Homeowners & Tree Owners

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY TREE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY TREE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

Wondering what you should do if my tree was struck by lightning? Understand that each and every year in the United States more than a million trees are struck by lightning. The frequency of lightning storms in the south especially in Texas, areas like east Texas, those close to the Gulf coast, is some of the USA's highest.

Lightning can immediately kill trees or weaken them so severely that they may be then attacked and killed with the aid of insects or other bugs that invade. In a few cases, lightning struck trees should be eliminated because of structural degradation due to the warmth generated via the electrocution rate. What many people don’t comprehend is that lightning has a greater chance of striking trees near a building or adjoining structures. Damage to homes and nearby property can arise while lightning strikes a tree and then side-flashes meaning it jumps to more conductive substances inclusive of downspouts and other steel material. Houses with trees inside of a ten-foot distance of the home are at most risk. Taller trees that are over 10 feet tall or trees taller than your roofline are most at danger to harm from lightning-flashes.

WHAT SHOULD I DO IF MY TREE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

First and predominant, any damaged tree or branches need to be removed ASAP. If they’re too massive for you to dispose of on your own, we recommend hiring a credible tree care company that specializes in storm damage or emergency tree services. Lightning damage also warrants a tree inspection. As you can imagine it is imperative that as a responsible homeowner get the tree inspected. It’s difficult to mention if a tree will or might not bounce back from a lightning strike, so it’s fine to get an Arborist's opinion to evaluate the tree’s health.

SEVERAL SIGNS TO IDENTIFY IF A TREE WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING

Lightning strikes the interior of a tree, concentrated on a layer beneath the bark that we can’t see. So it’s now not uncommon for a tree to look definitely regular for days or maybe weeks and then slowly decline. Or, a few trees die rapidly after a storm.

Sometimes, though, the internal harm does affect the outer parts of the tree. In this case, lightning harm would be identifiable with the following:

  • A crack or slit that runs down the tree’s trunk

  • Chunks of bark stripped off the tree

  • Sparse leaves; or wilted leaves at some stage in the canopy

  • “Burned” or blackened regions of bark

Remember the saying that lightning in no way strikes the same spot two times? If this were accurate, it'd surely be a relief for trees within the midst of summertime storms.

But contrary to what we had been told, lightning can strike the same area more than once and trees are a top target. There have been many trees that have fallen victim to lightning strikes several times. 

Below find out how to tell if a tree turned into a hit by lightning and what you could do to protect the tree from lightning damage in destiny.

WHAT HAPPENS TO MY TREE WHEN IT GETS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

Lightning hits and goes into the layer of water and sap simply beneath the tree’s bark. This sweet spot is the precise journey route for a bolt of lightning. As lightning runs down the inner of the tree, chunks of bark explode off of the trunk. Additionally, leaves are reduced off from their water, leaving them wilted and not capable of producing food the tree needs to survive and grow. 

CAN A TREE SURVIVE A LIGHTNING STRIKE?

A tree’s ability to recover after a lightning strike relies upon the tree’s species, health and moisture levels in addition to the lightning’s energy. If you spot jagged or damaged branches that are small in size, you may probably dispose of them your self.

If the tree looks risky or needs massive limbs eliminated, contact a neighborhood  Arborist from Arborists Near Me to help, we have a network of credible tree care companies you can search to call or fill out the form to get up to 3 FREE quotes. They also can give you their professional opinion and carry out an in-depth tree threat assessment. In a few instances, lightning wounds will heal themselves through the years. More excessive gashes inside the trunk go away the tree prone to harsh weather or insect and disease front, which may cause tree decline.

 WILL MY TREE DIE IF WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING?

Not always, but some trees can triumph over the harm after being struck. But the fate of your tree depends on a lot of factors—its health, its species, its age or even its vicinity. Plus, even if your tree didn’t die from a lightning strike, it can have been wounded, leaving an entryway for bugs or diseases to assault and weaken the tree in a long time.

That being said, the general consensus is trees that had been only stuck on one side of the trunk have a quite difficult time at survival. But if both facets of a tree are damaged, it'll probably want to be removed.

Homeowners need to understand some trees are older than they are, some have lived for generations and are valued over $10,000. You can use this tree evaluation calculator to find out how much your trees are valued at.

Trees may be protected from lightning by means of installing a copper cable system that extends from air terminals near the pinnacle of every major trunk right down to 10-foot copper floor rods driven beyond the tree's drip line. Special fasteners preserve the cable faraway from the tree to guard the trunk. These structures, nicely installed, can be expensive, costing as much as $1,000 for a large tree. They are, but, highly inconspicuous, non-injurious, permanent, and really reliable. Installing a makeshift system of aluminum cloth or cable fastened directly into a tree with fencing nails can be worse than nothing, attracting moves directly down the side of the tree.

In the meantime, homeowners can take preventative measures by providing their trees with needed attention. Making positive your tree is supplied with mulch, well-watered, fertilized and pruned keeps it sturdy before the storm and will help it all through the healing process. Should you need your trees inspected or wondering if your trees might be in hazardous zones on your property don’t hesitate to search our site to connect with a company in your local area for an assessment. 



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