What To Do When Your Tree Is Struck By Lightning

Storm damage to trees is a common complaint in the spring and summer months. Lightning strikes can be frightening and cause you to worry about the safety of your property and trees.

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When a tree is damaged by a lightning strike it can suffer damage that is visible and obvious ranging from the bark being blown off, to fissures in the wood, or broken limbs. The tree may also have charred areas on the trunk where the wood has burned from the heat of the strike. Other damage can occur that may be less obvious.

tree struck by lightningThe heat generated by a strike can turn the tree sap into steam and create bulges in the bark, or kill the vascular system of the tree. In these cases, the tree may appear normal for a few days, but leaves will sag and fall off within a few days or a week.

Here is what you need to do when your tree is struck by lightning:

Know That Many Trees Survive Being Struck By Lightning

If your beloved tree was struck by lightning, know that it doesn’t mean a death sentence. Many trees that are hundreds of years old have been struck by lightning numerous times over their lives and have survived.

So if your tree has been struck by lightning, your first step is to keep a calm head and safely evaluate the situation.

Make Sure The Area Surrounding The Tree Is Safe

Like all storm damage, do not approach the tree if the area is unsafe. This means watching out for falling branches, live electrical wires, and refraining from removing large debris. Keep children and pets away from the area and contact the city and your utility company about any fallen power lines.

Get A Professional ISA Certified Arborist To Evaluate The Tree

When the storm has passed, contact the ISA certified arborists at Hansen’s Tree Service. We have the knowledge and skill to safely and fairly evaluate your lightning-struck tree for damage and recommend any necessary treatment. This can include pruning away broken branches, cabling weakened branches, or providing a nutritional boost.

Get All Broken Branches Removed & The Tree Pruned

Any broken branches on the tree must be removed for the safety of the property and its occupants. Your attending arborist will remove broken branches and prune the tree while also ensuring that it will not come into contact with any power lines. Before pruning around lines you are responsible for, we will call your utility company so they can temporarily disconnect it so the tree can be safely trimmed back.

Always Prepare Your Trees For Storms

To reduce the risk of damage to your trees during storms, get them regularly inspected by an ISA certified arborist. They will check the tree for weak branch unions, root damage, and safely prune around power lines you are responsible for.

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