For some folks, the title of this article may seem bizarre, but there are cases when a tree can stay intact and heal after being hit by lightning. Lightning storms happen all the time and trees are hit. Here is some information on what happens to the tree and the ways to maintain it after a lightning strike.
My tree got hit by lightning, now what?
When a tree is hit by lightning the fluids inside the trunk convert to gas immediately causing the bark to explode. Most trees hit by lightning die, the other half can live for many years, although often damaged and made vulnerable to diseases. With over 100 lightning strikes per second around the earth, trees are more susceptible than you think.
Poplars and oaks tend to have a higher moisture content and be taller, increasing their chances of being hit by lightning. If a tree is hit after being soaked by rain, it has a better possibility of survival.
Symptoms: The after effect when lightning hit a tree differs from tree to tree. Sometimes the tree splits upon impact. A strip of blown-away bark disfigures some trees. Others have no destruction at all and then die a few weeks later, most likely since the concealed damage was in the root zone.
A tree struck by lightning has been cruelly stressed. To deal with this stress, the tree requires more nutrients. By providing more water to a lightning harmed tree, it will be able to absorb more nutrients.
Stressed trees are also a good place for disease and insect issues. Utilizing fertilizer will aid in stimulating the growth of damaged trees. If the tree lives long enough to leaf out the next spring, chances for survival are excellent. Remove any broken limbs and splintered or torn wood from the damaged tree. If the tree falls, call an emergency tree care company for tree removal and stump removal services.
Action: To stop lightning damage to treasured trees a lightning protection system must be installed. Copper cables are connected to the trees top limbs and then planted a safe distance from the tree.
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