Tall trees growing in open locations where they are the tallest thing in the area are at a higher risk of being struck by lightning. The type of damage the tree sustains can vary greatly. At times, a tree might just die from the internal damage caused while others will sustain only minor burn marks on the bark or some of the bark is torn loose to dangle off the tree. There is some evidence that trees with deep roots or those that are decaying are more susceptible to lightning strikes.

Treatment: After a tree has been struck, there is little you can do to treat it. Remove any loose or damaged bark. Valuable large trees can be protected by lightning conductor units similar to lightning rods.

Note: We have provided some general information and observations on this topic aimed at the home gardener. Before you take any serious action in your landscape, check with your state's land grant university's Cooperative Extension Service for the most current, appropriate, localized recommendations.


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