Anything that encounters lightning will sustain some degree of damage. Nothing about this changes when it comes to trees. Trees are common targets of lightning strikes because of their great heights, and they undergo several types of damages as a result. If your tree was struck by lightning, it is wise to learn how to manage the situation. A badly damaged tree on your property can be a huge liability, and pose a danger to your home and family. Continue reading to learn what to do if your tree is struck by lightning in a storm.
You can tell a tree has been hit by lightning by identifying a few signs and symptoms. For example, a lightning struck tree will often exhibit peeling, open bar wounds, loosened bark, and missing bark. It may also have black burn stains at the base or top of the tree. Although there is visible damage on the exterior of a tree that’s been a victim of a lightning strike, there is even more internal damage. The internal trunk can become damaged, as well as its root system below the ground. What happens is lightning will strike near the tree, causing external damage that can be repaired, or the current can hit the tree directly, using it as a conduit all the way down it’s trunk.
If a tree only sustains minor damage, there is a good chance a professional tree care contractor can heal it and bring it back to stable. Removing the loosened bark, pruning old branches, and protecting its open wounds is a good start to an effective healing process after a lightning incident. Be sure a tree in this condition receives ample water and extra fertilizer to ensure its future health. But if a tree sustains serious or internal damage from lightning, it needs to be removed as soon as possible before becoming a hazard or liability.