Storm Damage: Part 6 Lightning Strikes

The Tri-Cities area has some pretty fair weather. We have some wind to deal with, a little bit of rain, and rarely some lightning. Every now and then lightning will strike trees in yards, but what happens next?

When lightning strikes a tree, it instantly steams the water inside the tree, busts the bark out fromt the trunk and branches, and will even split the tree open in some cases. If this happens, the tree should most likely be removed. In some cases, when lightning hits, it will actually bend the tree and when it rebounds, the bark will be damaged.

Another unknown issue with lightning strikes is that the lightning will actually disrupt the tree’s water flow. After a strike, you may see leaves wilting. Sometimes the decline of a branch is a gradual process that takes up to three years. In these cases, leaves wilt over time without new foliage to replace them, while pests often infest the weakened branches.

Sometimes lightning destroys tree roots with no obvious symptoms of lightning damage above ground. This causes leaf wilt, which often kills the tree in just a few days. However, some trees recover from root damage as long as they’re able to produce new leaves in the spring. Providing water and fertilizer can help increase a damaged tree’s stress tolerance, helping it survive until the next growing period.

Keep in mind that having trees on your property comes with a little bit of maintenance. With just a little maintenance, you can prevent most major pitfalls. You won’t have to be worried about trees causing property damage or even worse, personal injury. We look forward to discussing your tree maintenance needs. We have trained arborists in the Tri-Cities  that are professional and that can answer any questions you have.

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