What Happens When Lightning Strikes a Tree?
Come summertime in Clarence, NY and the inevitable thunderstorms roll in – with them comes a warning: as soon as you hear thunder, get indoors before lightning appears. Of course, trees can’t just pick up their roots to run for cover like we can; they have no choice but to remain exposed and vulnerable under the tumultuous skies above.
Uncovering the Mystery of Why Trees are Such Common Targets for Lightning Strikes
Lightning is naturally attracted to towering objects, and trees predictably fall victim due to their great height. Moreover, the sap and moisture in a tree make it an ideal conductor of electricity since it supplies the path of least resistance– thus making them especially susceptible to drawing lightning strikes.
Trees in certain locations are more susceptible to lightning strikes, such as those found: in open spaces; near bodies of water; at the border of a forest or grove of trees; on mountainsides and hilltops; close to buildings; and with electricity-fueled lights hanging from their branches.
Ever wondered what occurs when a lightning bolt strikes a tree?
The effects of a lightning bolt striking a tree can vary significantly – from small to catastrophic. When the electricity arcs into the plant, it quickly heats up and evaporates water within its cells, resulting in steam that builds pressure until it explodes outward. If this occurs near the base or deeper inside, bark may crack off or even completely blast away; more severe destruction is likely when moisture lies deep within sapwood rather than on top of bark.
Do you want to know whether a tree has been struck by lightning?
When lightning strikes, the destruction is evident from splintered bark to charred parts of the trunk. However, certain signs may remain hidden in its inner layers or root system. This range of indicators are dependent on the type and structure ofthe tree; intensity of the strike and moisture levels within its cells. When a tree has gone up in flames due to this forceof nature, then it’s undoubtedly clear that a lightning strike occurred!
What To Do If Your Tree Is Struck By Lightning
If your tree is struck by lightning, however slightly, it may still survive the event. Prune away any obviously damaged branches and remove pieces of bark that cannot be reattached. For optimum recovery, feed your tree with fertilizer to boost nutrient uptake and provide sufficient water.
With careful attention applied over a period of 2 – 6 months, you can observe signs of stress in the foliage if corrective pruning or removal becomes necessary; more often than not though, it’s environmental damage caused by lightening rather than the strike itself which brings trees into decline. To ensure optimal health for your tree post-lightning strike ensure good care practices such as watering regularly are adhered too along with monitoring pests and disease activity on an ongoing basis.
How To Prevent Lightning Damage To Trees
Taking precautionary measures to avoid a lightning strike is far more desirable than dealing with the aftermath of one. Installing a custom-designed lightning protection system into especially vulnerable or valuable trees has proven effective in shielding them from potential damage. Not only that, but these systems also protect nearby property and can be worth every penny spent on their installation.
The setup includes an air terminal close to the upper portion of the tree, along with copper cable conductors which run down its trunk, leading all the way to a ground rod placed away from it; this allows electricity flowing through it safely dissipate into soil without wreaking havoc onto your surrounding area.
During a thunderstorm, lightning can strike at any time and its temperature is five times hotter than the sun! While trees are certainly susceptible to damage from lightning strikes, your safety should always be prioritized. In fact, every year in America there are hundreds of fatalities due to lightning; don’t become another statistic. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep safe during storms!
If you are concerned about trees on your property being struck by lightning, it’s best to consult with Arborists from Tree Service Clarence NY regarding whether or not installing a lightning protection system would be beneficial. It is vital to remember that this kind of task should never be attempted alone – the experts must handle it!