Lighting is one of the most destructive forces of nature on the planet. Tall trees rise above their surroundings which makes them a perfect target for a strike. When your tree is struck by lightning, it can suffer serious damage or get destroyed altogether. In Canada, trees absorb more than 2 million strikes every year. If you are wondering what steps you should take after your tree has been struck by lightning, check out this handy guide that the arborists here at Five Star Tree Services has put together for you.
What Happens When Lightning Strikes A Tree?
In cartoons, when lightning strikes a tree it is sliced directly through it. In reality, it causes an internal explosion. The electricity in the strike follows the moisture in the tree tissue which causes the water in the tree to convert to gas. Once this gas reaches a critical level, it causes an internal explosion. This can result in bark being blown off the tree or it may even cause the tree to splinter.
How Does It Affect the Tree’s Health?
Half of the lightning strikes cause instant death for the tree. A significant percentage of trees that don’t die instantly do tend to die within the space of a year. The stress and damage caused by lightning strikes can even cause a tree to die in a matter of weeks. Trees that lose a substantial portion of their bark from strikes are more susceptible to pests, severe weather, and disease. Regrettably, it isn’t possible for tree bark to regenerate or be grafted from another tree. If there is damage to the roots of the tree, even if there is no other visible damage, the tree will die. In cases where the damage from a lightning strike is minor, it’s possible for a tree to recover fully.
What Treatments Are Available?
Trees need a massive number of nutrients in order to recover from the stress of a lightning strike. Large quantities of water and fertilizer are a great way to encourage healing. A competent arborist can also gently prune broken branches to help reduce the stress on the tree. Five Star Tree Services can create a customized treatment that will offer the best results for a damaged tree. We are able to assess the damage caused by the lightning strike and implement an appropriate response. In the event the tree can’t be preserved, we perform safe tree removal in Richmond Hill.
How to Protect Your Trees
There are ways to protect your beloved trees from falling victim to lightning strikes. Installing a lightning protection system will proactively eliminate the danger that comes from lightning. This system is a series of copper cables grounded a ways away from the tree. The wires are then threaded among the higher branches of the tree. In the event that a lightning strike occurs, the electricity is diverted away from the tree. The electricity is channeled away where it is dispersed harmlessly.
Storm Damage & Emergency Tree Service
If you are in need of lightning protection for your trees or if you want to have a damaged tree evaluated, we are here to help. The expert arborists here at Five Star Tree Services are happy to craft customized solutions for all of your plant and tree service needs. Give us a call at (416) 990-3355 to set up a no-obligation consultation.