What To Do When Your Tree Was Hit by Lightning

What do you do with a tree hit by lightning? In this post, Green Acres Tree Service & Land Clearing, your experts for tree service in Albany, explain how to assess the tree damage and what to do next. 

Signs of a Lightning Strike

You’d think that tree damage due to lightning would be easy to spot, but sometimes, it runs along the inside of the tree. Even a thorough tree inspection won’t reveal this type of damage. 

Instead, you’ll notice a decline in tree health over the next few days, months, or years, depending on the extent of the damage. Sometimes, you’ll only see wilting leaves or stunted growth. And, if you know anything about why trees die, you’ll know this can be a sign of many types of tree damage. 

More Obvious Signs

Sometimes, it’s clear your tree was hit by lightning, and you’ll see the following:

  • Cracks in branches
  • Singed wood
  • Hanging branches
  • Split bark 

You may also hear the crack of lightning as it strikes. 

What To Do Next

You must start by assessing the damage of the tree hit by lightning. Remove any broken branches that are in imminent danger of falling down, and call an arborist to evaluate the tree’s condition. 

Will the Tree Survive?

With proper tree care, the prognosis is good, depending on how bad the damage was. Many trees can overcome even extensive damage if they’re healthy to begin with. However, it’s important to note that they are more susceptible to disease and pests going forward. 

Treating the Tree

An arborist may suggest several courses of treatment. Where they can, they’ll save the tree and provide supportive care. This technique may include bracing the trunk or areas you need to shore up. 

Care after this means ensuring the tree has the optimal mix of water and nutrients. You’ll also have to watch carefully for signs of disease and pest infestation. 

Sometimes, the tree is dying or already dead when our team arrives. In these instances, removal is your best option as the dead wood becomes hazardous. As it withers and dries out, branches will fall off, and the trunk may topple over. 

Preventing Lightning Strikes

If you live in an area prone to electrical storms, you can take proactive steps and install lightning protectors. Speak to our team about these handy devices and whether or not they’ll work for you. 

These work on a similar principle as a lightning rod for a home. They don’t stop the strike but rather redirect its energy away from the tree. The advantage here is that the rod bears the brunt of the damage. 

You should have a professional inspect these systems regularly or at least once before every storm season. 

Contact Us for the Right Solution 

If you have a tree hit by lightning or another issue to solve, like what to put on tree limbs after cutting, call Green Acres Tree Service & Land Clearing at 229-881-2538. We’ll come to your property and work on a custom strategy for your arboreal needs. 


We provide the best professional tree care services for residential  and commercial tree care in Albany, and surrounding areas of Southwest GA.


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