Trees and Lightning

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Recent storms that have moved through northwest Ohio have brought some much needed rain.  Some of that rain has been accompanied by lightning, high winds and even tornados.  The large oak pictured with this article was strike by lightning resulting in the outward symptom a "lightning scar." 


As I was searching for additional information when writing this article, I came across a FactSheet from Purdue University, Trees and Lightning.   It is an excellent resource and describes the range of damage to the tree that can occur during and after a lightning strike.  The link to the FactSheet is listed below. 


Additionally, Dr. Kim D. Coder, Professor of Tree Biology & Health Care at Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources at the University of Georgia has done some extensive work in the area of trees and lightning.  There is a Georgia Forestry Commission FactSheet that references his work and lengthy publication entitled: "Trees & Lightning: Principles For Controlling Damage" written for those in the green industry. 


Homeowners with trees that have been struck by lightning are urged to engage the assistance of a certified arborist to help assess the tree and the extent of damage that the lightning has caused to the tree.  The Purdue FactSheet also addresses the topic of lighting protection if someone has a tree they would like to protect from potential lightning strikes. 


If you need help finding a certified arborist in your area, you can check-out the International Society of Arboriculture's Website at and click on the icon "Find an Arborist."