Tree Hit by Lightning: Should It Be Removed Immediately?

tree hit by lightning

Lightning tends to strike the tallest object in its path, and that includes trees. A common question that people have is whether or not they should remove a tree hit by lightning immediately after the event.

If your tree has sustained lightning damage, it does not mean it is dead.

In fact, most trees survive lightning strikes and continue growing after a strike. While this may sound like good news, keep in mind that trees struck by lightning may not look healthy or strong.

Read on for helpful tips on what to do next, including tree removal in Fairfax, VA.

Factors to Consider Before Removing a Tree Damaged by Lightning

When determining whether you should immediately remove a tree hit by lightning, you should consider several factors.

These include:

How Large Is the Tree?

If the tree struck by lightning is large and damages your house or property, you may want to consider removing it. Large trees can be dangerous if they fall on your home or are in an area where they could cause damage to other houses or buildings.

Before making any decision, call a professional arborist for advice.

Is Your Tree Near Other Trees?

If you find a tree with a lightning strike, you may be tempted to remove it. Before doing so, though, consider the following factors:

Does the tree have any branches that are touching other trees or other structures? If so, it makes sense to call an arborist to remove the damaged tree.

In addition, you should remove lightning-damaged trees to stop them from transferring the electric charge to a neighboring tree’s roots and damaging them.

Is Your Tree Near Buildings or Power Lines?

This is a safety issue. If you have a tree damaged by lightning, it’s essential to consider whether it’s near buildings, walkways, or power lines. If so, these are serious safety concerns, and you’ll have to call an arborist to remove the tree.

Does Your Tree Have Visible Signs of Damage?

If the tree hit by lightning sustained a direct strike, there would likely be fire damage on the trunk and limbs of the tree. This could include charring or blackening of the tree trunk, bark, and branches, as well as splintered wood and missing bark.

You should also look for cracks in the trunk or broken branches. These can indicate structural weakness and potential failure, necessitating tree removal.

What to Do After a Tree Lightning Strike

If your tree has sustained a lightning strike, you probably feel pretty shaken up. But don’t worry—we’re here to help.

Here are the steps to take concerning a tree hit by lightning:

  1. Call an arborist.
  2. Inspect the tree for damage.
  3. Remove small damaged branches or limbs near where the bolt hit.
  4. Check for signs of fire inside the tree (if you see smoke, call 911 immediately).
  5. Don’t touch the tree; the electrical charge in the tree can be dangerous.
  6. Once your arborist arrives, they’ll inspect the tree and likely prune back damaged branches.

Call the Tree Care Professionals for Assistance

If you’ve recently had a tree damaged by lightning, our Woods Tree and Landscaping team is here to help. We have over 20 years of experience removing trees damaged by lightning on residential and commercial properties.

When you call us, we work with you to determine the best course of action for your situation, whether removing the tree entirely or pruning it back. We can also advise you on lightning protection for the next time.

If you want more information about how we remove a tree hit by lightning or if you’d like to discover why trees fall, call (703) 478-4704 for a free assessment.

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