A lightning strike is an awesome, spectacularly powerful event.
Supposedly an average lightning bolt releases enough energy to operate a 100-watt light bulb for three months.
Now imagine what happens when this bolt hits a tree. It boils sap, splinters wood, strips bark, and passes through to the tree’s root system. It can kill the tree immediately, or cause serious damage.
Not only that, but if lightning strikes a tree located near a structure, it could jump from the tree to a nearby building or person.
This is called side flash, and it can cause significant property damage, injury, or worse.
You cannot prevent a lightning strike, but you can reduce its potential harm on a tree and nearby structures by installing a lightning protection system.
This system acts as a conductor for the electric surge. It transmits the lightning bolt from off of the tree to a grounding system, which safely disperses the energy into the surrounding soil.
The materials and installation techniques must be compliant with ANSI A300 Standards, which are recognized and accepted by arborists across the country.
A lightning protection system does require routine maintenance and inspection in order to stay functional.
Lightning damage is far easier to prevent than repair.
If you want to protect a tree you love, a historic tree, or a tree of some personal significance, consider installing a lightning protection system.