U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
View Poll Results: Do you know or have had any trees that got struck by lightning?
I know a tree that got struck and survived for many years 7 50.00%
I know a tree that got struck and was removed before it died 1 7.14%
I know a tree that got struck but died or got diseased later on 8 57.14%
I don't know of any trees that got struck 2 14.29%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

Reply Start New Thread
 
Old Today, 04:52 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
63,136 posts, read 45,491,010 times
Reputation: 10137

Advertisements

Cold front came through yesterday and a severe line of storms did as well. My tree got struck by lightning at 3pm. I was wondering if you guys experienced or know of any trees that got struck and survived.


Here's a few pics of my Colorado Spruce tree.








Hard to see but the bark is peeled away from the trunk a few inches from where the opening is





Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old Today, 04:55 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
63,136 posts, read 45,491,010 times
Reputation: 10137
I don't think it was a direct hit because the Top half looks fine and nothing caught on fire. It may have been a branch off the main bolt. I was home at the time 30 feet away and the static and bomb like sound was insane.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 05:16 AM
 
Location: Northeast Suburbs of PITTSBURGH
3,348 posts, read 3,173,202 times
Reputation: 2120
The tree that got struck in my yard survived with some problems at first but now is completely fine. It's a 80' sweet gum tree.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 05:38 AM
 
Location: North Beach, MD on the Chesapeake
31,135 posts, read 37,862,874 times
Reputation: 39075
I'd have an arborist take a look at it. The bark stripping would concern me.

A tree in the neighbor's yard, a sweet gum, was hit and the bark stripping went from the crown to the base. For full disclosure the tree was in distress anyway and hitting the end of its life span.

It subsequently died completely and the owner didn't remove it. A big wind storm (60+ knot winds) rolled through one night and the tree snapped off about 10 feet off the ground. It went into an adjoining house and wiped much of it out.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 05:38 AM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
1,277 posts, read 497,094 times
Reputation: 2415
I've witnessed lightning strikes on trees on three different occasions (one tree hit twice). I felt the sound before I heard it. It is intense. The energy in lightning is amazingly high. It causes the sap to boil and it then explodes, scattering the bark far & wide. The two trees in question were 100 ft + and survived nicely.


We are told to avoid trees during a storm not so much because they "attract" lightning, but because their root zones form a grid of conducting pathways fanning outward effectively putting you in harms way even if you're dozens of feet away from the trunk.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 05:44 AM
 
Location: NC
6,004 posts, read 6,681,798 times
Reputation: 11766
Lightning sometimes comes from the air to the ground and sometimes goes from the ground to the air. It depends on whether the built up charge is more negative or positive in each place. When it comes from the ground, it can go through a tree. Sometimes the water in the tree gets superheated and blows the bark off in a line like on the OP tree. The photo that shows the deep crack is worrisome in that there is now a lot of exposed area for bacteria and fungi and beetles to get deep into the tree. I would say that tree will definitely die or at least fall over in the next couple of years. Sorry.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 06:11 AM
 
Location: Ohio
13,996 posts, read 12,200,109 times
Reputation: 18381
Quote:
Originally Posted by North Beach Person View Post
I'd have an arborist take a look at it. The bark stripping would concern me.

A tree in the neighbor's yard, a sweet gum, was hit and the bark stripping went from the crown to the base. For full disclosure the tree was in distress anyway and hitting the end of its life span.

It subsequently died completely and the owner didn't remove it. A big wind storm (60+ knot winds) rolled through one night and the tree snapped off about 10 feet off the ground. It went into an adjoining house and wiped much of it out.
THIS^^^^^^.

Just googling "how to save a tree hit by lightening" shows that there may be ways an arborist could increase your tree's chance of survival.

From the little I have read, the sooner treatment begins the better the chance of survival.

If it were me, I would do everything I could to try and save that tree.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 07:21 AM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
27,632 posts, read 48,871,295 times
Reputation: 27185
I agree, have a certified arborist look at it and recommend a course of action. The one next door to us pretty much blew up, there was no way it could be saved. The damage on yours could be repaired by filling the crack to prevent pests/disease from entering, and the wounds around the bark edges can grow and close up. I would be more concerned with the depth of the crack, going that far and being in the center which could weaken it and make it more likely to break apart in a heavy wind. It requires an expert opinion.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 10:35 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,549 posts, read 50,099,376 times
Reputation: 26672
Each lightning strike is unique. An arborist is the way to go, but I doubt you can tell for sure what will happen for at least a year or two. I've seen trees where the tree was effectively girdled by the strike and killed, but most have the single line of damage like yours. What you can't see is how much the root structure has been damaged.

FWIW, both positive and negative polarity strikes have ground leaders. The conductivity in the ground and the conductivity in the cloud make them act like the plates of a giant capacitor, with the weakness that fails in the insulative layer almost always being in the air. Also, even though only one set of leaders typically connect, the "false" ground leaders still carry current and are dangerous, even without the flash/bang.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old Today, 11:06 AM
 
Location: Near the Coast SWCT
63,136 posts, read 45,491,010 times
Reputation: 10137
Great posts guys! Thanks. I'll add this info as well..

"When a tree is struck by lightning the liquids inside the trunk turn to gas instantly, leading to an explosion of bark. About half of the trees struck by lightning will die instantly, the other half will live for a number of years, although often weakened and made susceptible for future disease."
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Garden
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2017, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 - Top