Can You Still Save Trees Hit By Lightning?

Many believe that trees hit by lightning can no longer survive. It is true that lighting is responsible for the death of over 40% of large trees, but not all trees are doomed. An effective Roseville tree service like Fallen Leaf Tree can offer a few tips before the next storm hits.

Below, the tree experts share more about how to save a tree struck by lightning.

Why Does Lightning Hit Trees?

Trees are prone to lighting due to their height and internal moisture content. They are typically better conductors of electricity than the surrounding air. 

Tall trees are more susceptible to lightning strikes if they are:

  • Near a water body
  • In an open field
  • The tallest objects around
  • Growing near a building
  • On the edge of a forest
  • On a hilltop or mountainside

Trees that carry electric light strings for decoration are also excellent targets for a lightning strike.

Signs That A Tree Has Been Struck By Lightning

While some external signs of lightning damage are obvious, others are internal and subtle. It will take an experienced arborist like Fallen Leaf Tree to detect internal damage in a tree. In the meantime, typical signs that a tree exhibits after being struck during a thunderstorm include:

  • The tree is burning
  • The tree has shattered pieces of bark
  • There are charred or burned areas visible on the trunk

If you suspect your tree has suffered lightning damage, don’t hesitate to call a reputable arborist like us. It might be the only way to save the tree.

How to Save a Tree Struck by Lightning

So, how can you save a tree that has been hit by lightning? Our team recommends four interventions:

Immediate Action

A lighting strike can severely injure a tree, and the first step is taking immediate action. If the damage isn’t severe, the tree could survive if you act fast enough. Even if trees hit by lightning seem to be in good shape, they could have serious internal damage or an injured root system from the electrical current. Calling an experienced arborist like us increases the chances the tree will recover.

Assess the Damage

How can you tell the severity of lightning damage at first glance? It’s extremely difficult. However, assessing the damage before taking further action is critical. 

A tree with visible damage has a minimal chance of survival. These damages might include:

  • broken branches
  • a split stem
  • completely damaged crown

If the tree is already dead, you might consider a tree removal service. However, if the trunk is in good shape with parts of the tree still clearly alive, immediate treatment could still save it.

Remove Damaged Parts

Trimming any damaged or broken branches promotes healthy regrowth. The practice also prevents rotting and curbs diseases.

Avoid pruning too hard, though. It could set the tree back and cause it more stress. You can go back to hard pruning once the tree fully recovers.

Water Deeply

Water the damaged tree deeply, especially if the soil around its base is dry. Providing an injured tree with sufficient hydration will help it restore wilted areas and promote efficient nutrient absorption. The tree needs as much food as possible to start healing and regenerating the damaged areas, including fertilizer for faster regrowth.

Fallen Leaf Tree Offers Tree Removal in Sacramento, CA

So, it is possible to save a tree that has been struck by lightning if you act fast. You can also lean on experts like us for advice and assistance with your tree’s recovery.

Call Fallen Leaf Tree at 916-447-8733 today for answers about trees hit by lightning and the best time to remove a tree.

Fallen Leaf Tree Management

Expert Tree Care in the heart of Sacramento & surrounding areas with your satisfaction guaranteed. One of our Arborists can give you a comprehensive evaluation on all the trees and shrubs in your landscape and give you a scheduled maintenance plan. Call for an arborist consultation.



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Sacramento, CA 95826

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