How to Respond When a Tree is Struck by Lightning

Professional, Certified Arborists in San Carlos, CA, Tell Homeowners What to Do if a Tree is Struck By Lightning

What Happens When a Tree Is Struck by Lightning?

Have you ever heard that if you’re caught in a storm, you can take shelter under a tree? This old wives’ tale just might be one of the worst pieces of advice. Why? Because every year, thousands of trees get struck by lightning during storms. Since trees are tall objects, they naturally attract lightning.

When a tree gets struck, all the energy from the lightning enters the tree. Depending on where the strike hits, the tree can experience everything from minimal damage to the bark to exploding from the inside! When a bolt of lightning hits a tree, the water inside the tree immediately turns to vapor and the outer layers of the tree explode. Many trees die immediately. Some trees suffer extensive damage while others might only suffer light damage that can be repaired over time.

Damage Caused by Lightning Strikes

Every tree that gets hit by lightning will suffer some damage. The question is how much damage. There are several different outcomes when a tree is struck. You might see a split in the bark where it struck the tree and the water exploded outward from just under the bark. If the tree was struck through the middle, the tree will likely die immediately. If a lightning strike penetrates the tree’s center, there’s no saving it. You’ll likely also see portions of the tree that blew off including large and small branches. The middle of the trunk might also be split in two and you’ll also see charing and burn marks.

If the storm has been one of particularly heavy rainfall, then the tree’s exterior might be so soaked that lightning will be conducted through water on the outside of the tree. If this happens, the tree will likely escape damage.

What Can You Do About Damaged Trees?

After lightning strikes your tree, only assess the area once the storm has passed. Never go out in the middle of a storm! It’s essential to call certified arborists right away. They will perform a tree risk assessment to determine the extent of tree damage. Once their tree inspection is complete, they’ll be able to address safety concerns, provide tree services to help recover the tree, or provide tree removal.
If a tree has been struck and poses a significant safety hazard to people or objects in the area, move away and then call arborists that provide emergency tree service. They will assess the damage immediately and determine the safest way to remove the tree hazard.

Experts Can Help

After a tree has been struck by it’s essential to call a tree service company that can provide a full assessment of the damage received. They’ll be able to tell you how best to care for a damaged tree that has a high chance of survival, as well as letting you know when a tree has sustained too much damage to live. Trees that have extensive damage will almost always be removed due to the hazard they pose for people, other trees, and objects in the area.

Never try to remove a damaged tree by yourself! These trees can act unpredictably and only trained arborists have the tools and know-how to safely remove a damaged tree.

Dedicated, Professional Tree Care

Ned Patchett Tree Care and Consulting proudly serve the areas in and around San Carlos, CA, for all their tree care needs. They offer landscaping, tree care, and arboricultural consulting. Their team of certified arborists work with the highest standards in the industry, provide excellent customer service, and creative solutions to all tree care needs.

By |2020-10-12T15:27:31+00:00September 16th, 2020|Arboricultural Consulting|