During the summer months, you never know when thunderstorms will roll into the area. Lightning may occur frequently, and for many homeowners, they may have a lot to deal with if lightning hits one of the trees on their property. Lightning can impact a tree in a variety of ways. The process is not black and white and you do not automatically need to cut a tree down.
Follow this guide to learn about the process for tree care after a lightning strike and how trained professionals can help save some of the beloved trees on your property.
Lightning Strike Assessment
Time is crucial when a tree has been struck by lightning. Once the storm has passed, you should contact professionally trained arborists to come and evaluate your property. The arborist will come out to assess the damage to determine exactly where the lightning struck. In some cases, a lightning bolt could have split multiple ways and contacts multiple trees.
In other cases, the strength of the lightning could have burned parts of several trees. Due to the possibility of weakened branches or dangerous areas, you should not complete an inspection without the help of an expert. Their knowledge and visual assessment will help you understand what next steps can help save your tree’s life.
After an assessment, a tree care company may decide to complete some pruning. Tree pruning includes trimming branches. In the case of a lightning strike, the experts will try to trim only the damaged areas of the tree. The key is to ensure the tree does not get over-trimmed. An over-trimmed tree may not be able to grow back again.
The pruning process may go through multiple stages. For example, after the initial pruning, a tree company may wait a few weeks and then come back to see what elements have grown and complete some more pruning. Some weakened branches may need pruning treatment to ensure they don’t snap or break as new twigs and leaves grow on them.
Lightning strikes can go through the tree and reach all the way into the ground. The impact of the strike could have a direct impact on the roots of the tree. If unseen root damage occurs, then the whole tree could die and end up rotting from the inside out. Tree professionals can complete root inspections to see if any damage has occurred.
If your tree has exposed roots, then a pest control worker will likely check that area out first. If the roots are weakened or damaged, then tree experts will do everything they can to give life to the plant. First, they will supply an abundance of water. They may recommend a watering schedule so the tree roots have plenty of liquids to feed off of.
A tree company may also supply you with a fertilizer treatment. Fresh new fertilizer will include minerals and soil that will help encourage growth and strength in the tree. Along with the enriched soil, they may inject nutrients straight into the ground to help the tree thrive.
After the initial treatment, you should schedule some follow-up inspections to track the progress of the tree growth and to add more nutrients into the ground. The whole process will help the damaged tree along with any other plant life on your property.
When lightning strikes a tree, the whole process can create damage to the tree bark. The exposed layers underneath the bark can make the tree vulnerable to insects that want to feed on the tree. Tree experts will examine the tree for any presence of insects.
Along with insect removal, tree professionals can provide pest control treatments to prevent pests from seeking out your tree. The pest control will not only work on the impacted tree, but you can seek treatment options for your whole property.
In some cases, the lightning strike may be too strong for the tree to survive. Trunk damage could have split the tree down the middle or impacted the roots too much. A lightning strike could have burned key sections of a tree and made it impossible to save. In these cases, you will need to seek tree removal.
Leaving a dead tree up can create many dangers. The tree may fall over or limbs may fall off. Tree professionals will remove the trees and stump if wanted. You can have the damaged tree completely removed from your property. You have the option to keep the space open or empty or the tree experts can help you plant a new tree.
For all of your tree care needs, contact us at Schulhoff Tree & Lawn Care, Inc. Once the lightning storm has passed, we will come to your property to access the damage and go over the treatment options.