Tree Struck by Lightning

Picture of a damaged tree next to a home that split from lightning.Tree Struck by Lightning- What to do? 

Lightning is a majestic, yet deadly and damaging phenomenon. It strikes the land all over the world thousands of times per day. Whenever it hits the ground, it poses a threat, not only to people but also to nearby plants. Unfortunately, trees get damaged by lightning more than we realize.

The question is, what should be your next move after your tree is struck by lightning. Your tree may show signs of withered leaves and a couple of dead branches, but are they enough grounds to eliminate a tree? While lightning can bring irreversible damage to a tree, it is crucial to know whether the tree can still be saved or not before you make any drastic move. 

My tree was hit by lightning. What should I do next?

The most important thing you should do is to eliminate any weak and broken immediately after you notice their appearance. If you think you cannot complete the job because of the size of the branch, feel free to contact a certified arborist. It is crucial to have your trees inspected by a professional after being struck by lightning because you may not be able to say whether a tree can recover or not. 

Signs that a Tree was Struck by Lightning

The thing about lightning damage is that it does not appear apparent at all times, and some may even be concealed. Lightning affects the interior of the tree, the part that we don’t readily see with our naked eyes. This is the reason why a lightning-struck tree may look unaffected for days and weeks, then suddenly decline. 

In some cases, the damage in the tree’s interior affects the outer layer. Look for the signs that show the following:

  • A crack that extends down to the tree’s trunk
  • Bark getting stripped off the tree
  • Wilted or sparse leaves in the canopy
  • Blackened areas in the bark

Will My Tree Survive After Being Struck by Lightning

Some trees overcome lightning damage, while some don’t, depending on the gravity of the injury. The future of your tree after it has been struck by lightning relies on a number of variables, including the tree’s health, age, species, and location. Even if your tree didn’t die right away from lightning damage, it usually leaves a wound that can make it vulnerable to diseases and pest infestation. 

The general rule of thumb is, if the tree was struck on one side of the trunk, it has a fair chance at recovering from the damage. However, if the damage is on both sides of the tree’s trunk, it has to be removed right away. 

How to Protect my Tree from Lightning Damage

One of the proven ways to protect a tree from lightning damage is through a lightning protection system. The system keeps the tree protected from lightning strikes by redirecting lightning to a different direction on the ground. There is no system that can completely prevent lightning damage. You should get in touch with a certified arborist if you want to have lightning protection installed in your tree. 

Before the storm strikes, make sure that you are giving your tree the proper care it needs to survive any damage and can help it recover in case it gets struck by lightning.

For more information about storm tree damage, contact Sam at Saints Tree Service Cleveland, 9526 Parkview Ave, Cleveland, OH 44104, (216) 438-9080.