More than one million trees in the United States are struck by lightning annually.
It’s possible for lightning strikes to kill trees immediately or potentially weaken them so severely that they are then vulnerable to attacks by boring insects or other invaders. In many cases, trees struck by lightning must be removed. This is due to structural weakening caused by heat and the mechanical forces generated by the lightning’s electric charge.
Why is Lightning Protection Essential?
Not only do lightning strikes pose a risk to trees, but they also threaten adjacent structures as well. When lightning strikes a tree and then jumps (side flashes) to other conductive materials like downspouts and other objects, it can cause significant damage to surrounding structures. If you have a tree within ten feet of the structure, and it happens to be taller than the roof, then its the most at risk to damage from jumping side flashes.
Treemendous Tree offers lightning protection set-ups which will minimize the risk of lightning strike damage. These systems use conductors made of copper which connect to a ground rod in order to reduce tree damage. They ground the electrical charge by conducting it to the earth where the energy is dispersed. We have an excellent record of defending trees as well as reducing the risk of a side-flash to adjoining structures.
Lightning protection systems need to be inspected every year to ensure they remain intact. Our systems require servicing in order to extend the metal conductors and to replace fasteners. These will accommodate tree growth in the trees which they are installed.
Treatment of Trees Struck by Lightning
Trees struck by lightning should be inspected by a Treemendous Arborist right away in order to assess its health and evaluate its structural integrity. Severely damaged tree should be removed immediately to avoid potential injuries or further destruction to your property. A recently struck tree which is still considered structurally stable could be subject to certain treatments that will aid recovery however. For instance, mulching the root zone and irrigation during dry weather will help to ensure acceptable soil levels. Clearly, lightning strikes are the biggest threat to a tree’s stems and branches, but they can also have a major impact on roots. This means lightning struck trees are also more vulnerable to drought. To help reduce potential infestation resulting from a strike, insect treatments should be considered. Soil analysis results will also be instrumental in determining fertilization and soil amendments.