Lightning damage to tree #743107 - Ask Extension

Knowledgebase

Lightning damage to tree #743107

Asked April 07, 2021, 4:31 PM EDT

We had a lightning strike and it blew a big piece of bark off a red oak tree. Wanted to ask if there is anything we should or can do to help the tree recover.

Washington County Minnesota

Expert Response

Thanks for the question.

There seems to be some serious damage to your oak tree. Although extensive, it doesn’t appear that it goes around the entire tree so maybe the tree will survive. The major concern at this point is that it may expose the tree to infestation from insects and/or fungi. Do NOT attempt to cover the exposed wood. Your tree may have experienced severe water loss due to the heat generated by the strike. Apply generous amounts of water at the base out to at least six to ten feet from the trunk for the next few weeks. See the following:

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/ornamental/trees/tgen/lightning-damaged-trees.htm - :~:text=Lightening damage in trees is,weakened and susceptible to disease.

https://arbor-experts.com/lightning-hit-my-tree-what-now/

https://www.americanarborists.net/tree-tips/2017/june/what-to-do-if-your-tree-is-struck-by-lightning-/

The first indication that your tree may not survive is that the foliage does not develop. You should be able to determine this within the next couple of weeks. We would also suggest that you enlist the services of a professional arborist to make an on-site inspection. See the following:

https://www.treesaregood.org/findanarborist

https://extension.umn.edu/planting-and-growing-guides/how-hire-tree-care-professional

Good Luck!!

Steve Hedman Replied April 07, 2021, 10:04 PM EDT

Loading ...