How to Take Care of Trees Struck By Lightning

With rain storms occurring frequently, lightning strikes are nothing new. However, most people are unaware of the steps to take when caring for trees struck by lightning.

Depending on the type and amount of damage, you can potentially salvage your trees after they get hit by lightning. Read on to learn how to restore lightning-damaged trees and how Missouri city’s expert tree service providers can help.

What Happens When Lightning Hits My Tree?

Trees are often the tallest object around, making them natural lightning rods.

When lightning strikes tall trees, the damage is instantaneous. As soon as it happens, your tree’s bark explodes, and its internal liquids instantly turn to gas and evaporate.

In extreme cases, strong lightning bolts could tear your tree apart and even set it on fire from the inside.

Up to half of the trees hit by lightning will die rapidly. The rest weaken and lose their integrity, becoming susceptible to various health issues.

The impact lightning strikes have on your trees will depend on various factors.

For instance, your tree’s health and moisture level will determine the amount of damage it experiences. Another factor is the tree’s species. Beech and birch trees rarely get hit by lightning, making them less prone to experiencing this kind of damage.

However, there are tree species more susceptible to lightning strikes, such as:

  • Maple
  • Poplar
  • Pine
  • Gum
  • Oak

What Are the Signs of a Lightning-Struck Tree?

Before taking care of trees struck by lightning, you must first know how to identify lightning damage.

Lightning damage in trees varies significantly. For example, some trees might have splinters or broken branches, while others have blown-off bark. Some trees might even appear undamaged yet develop hidden root injuries that will result in death.

That said, there are a few prominent signs that can help you identify a lightning-struck tree, such as:

  • Torn bark: The tearing of your tree’s bark is one of the most noticeable signs of lightning damage.
  • Wilted leaves: Your tree’s leaves could wilt as a result of the damaged water pathways inside the stem or roots
  • Bent tree: Lightning bolts can make your tree bend and its wood crack or loosen.

Taking Care of Trees Struck by Lightning

A tree that has been struck by lightning is under severe stress. As such, knowing how to save it is essential to its long-term survival. Although there is no guarantee of success, the right treatment can help your tree recover.

Here’s how to take care of trees struck by lightning.

Remove Injured Branches

The first step should be to remove any cracked or injured branches. Eliminating splintered wood and shaping your tree allows the tree to compartmentalize its wounds, promoting healing.

Water the Tree

After, give your tree generous amounts of water. This supplemental irrigation allows the tree to acquire the nutrients it needs to recover.

Inspect the Tree

Inspect your tree thoroughly, looking out for any wood-boring insects. If you detect any, spray the tree trunk with pesticide. Start as high as possible, spraying downward towards the soil.

Add Fertilizer

Use fertilizers that have quick-release properties to encourage new growth. Your tree is more likely to recover if it can survive until spring and leaf out.

Professional Care for Your Lightning-Damaged Tree

Has your tree experienced lightning damage? Opting for prompt, professional assistance can go a long way in saving it. Contact Nature’s Tree Removal at (713) 824-9036 for advice on lightning protection and caring for trees struck by lightning.

If the tree is unsalvageable, we can offer comprehensive removal services, even acquiring the tree removal permit for you.

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