When a powerful thunderstorm approaches, it is common for lightning to follow close behind. For this reason, a countless number of lightning strikes occur each year, with plenty of them targeting trees. When a homeowner discovers that a tree on their property has been struck by lightning, it is not a good idea to ignore the matter. Some steps should be taken to maintain safety.

Use Caution

It is important to assess the damage to the tree, but it is even more important that you not immediately run outside. When a tree is struck by lightning, just because you no longer see the flash or flames, it does not mean that the tree is free from any currents.

Currents can continue to travel through the tree for several moments after the initial impact. If you touch the tree too quickly, you will be injured. The safer choice is to wait a few moments before you assess the damage.

Contact a Professional

Just because a tree does not split in two and shatter after being struck, it does not mean that the tree has survived. When lightning strikes a tree, the water inside the tree is heated quickly. It then begins to boil and gases from inside the tree. This entire process happens almost instantly. Sometimes the result of this reaction is severe root damage that will kill the tree.

You do not want to keep a dying tree in your yard, as it poses a serious safety concern. When a tree is dead, it is no longer stable, which means that it could topple over and damage your home, property, or family. You need to have a tree professional assess the damage to help you determine if the tree needs to be removed, and if not, to aid in the process of repairing any damage. 

Preventive Measures

There is no way to prevent lightning from striking in your area. However, there are some preventive measures that a tree professional can put in place if you live in an area prone to strong storms, such as the Midwest, or you have trees on your property that are at an increased risk of being struck by lightning, including maple and oak trees. 

One of these measures is a lightning protection system, which uses a conductor system to reduce the rate at which an electrical charge generated by lightning is dispersed. As a result, these systems can greatly reduce the risk of significant damage to the tree.

If a tree on your property has been struck by lightning, make sure you contact a tree service professional to have the damage assessed. For more information reach out to a tree service in your area.