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Lightning is known to strike at least a million times each day globally. Each bright bolt is a threat to nearby trees. It is easy for your tree to fall prey to lightning damage. It is important that you get a tree removal company assess the damage as soon as possible.

The thing with lightning damage is that it is generally slow. Your tree may weather the storm only to lose half of its leaves the next season. This could be a sign of decay, which can prove to be a safety risk. It is recommended to get a professional tree removal service to take a look at your tree at the earliest.

What to do when your tree is struck by lightning?

The first thing you need to do is remove any broken or hanging branches. They could come crashing down and destroy your property. If the branches are too large, you should have a certified arborist come and do the job. Every tree that gets struck by lightning does not need to be cut down or removed. A professional tree expert will inspect the tree to gauge the extent of damage.

What are the signs of lightning damage?

As explained earlier, lightning damage can be subtle. However, most signs are not unnoticeable and an experienced eye can make them out fairly quickly. Lightning damages the layer underneath the bark. A tree can look normal for weeks and even months before gradually declining. Sometimes, a tree may die shortly after a storm.

Extensive lightning damage may have outward signs, like:

  • Split or crack running down the trunk
  • Wilted or sparse leaves
  • Blackened or burned bark
  • Areas where chunks of bark is stripped

How can you protect your tree from lightning damage?

Lightning is common during storms and while there is not much you can do against Mother Nature’s fury, you could give your landscape a helping hand by installing a lightning protection system. These systems are handy in diverting any lightning bolts that come too close away from the tree by giving it a secondary path to ground.

Do all trees die when struck by lightning?

A tree doesn’t necessarily have to die after being struck by lightning. They can overcome the damage with a little extra care. However, this depends upon the tree’s age, its health, species, and location. Plus, a tree that manages to survive may still be damaged from the wound. This could leave an opening for pathogens and insects to attack and weaken the tree in the long-term.

As your local tree removal company, Chippers Tree Service will have you know that where lightning damage is concerned trees struck only on one side have an 80% chance of survival. However, the tree may have to be removed if both sides are damaged.