What To Do If Lightning Strikes Your Tree

Dealing With Trees Struck By Lightning

Severe storms in the Triad have made their mark on the trees.

Scott Saintsing is the owner of Outdoor Exposure, a tree service that serves the Triad.  He says he's had more than 30 calls for storm-related tree damage in the past three weeks.

His crew spent Tuesday and Wednesday working on an oak tree in Winston-Salem that had been struck twice by lightning.

"Now it's gotten to the point where the homeowner is scared, wants to get it down," Saintsing explains.  "It's too much of a liability."

Saintsing says if lightning hits your tree, you'll likely hear it if you're home.  He also says the bark could start shredding off, a sign there's been damage.

READ: Facts About Lightning That Could Save Your Life

Most of the time if lightning hits the trunk, the tree will have to be removed.  If it strikes a branch, pruning may be enough to clear away any damage.

He also says heavy rains can create problems for trees.

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"The dirt around the root system gets so wet and saturated the root system is able to move around as the tree moves and balances it creates a void and the more gaps and the weight of the tree," Saintsing says.  "It just makes it more susceptible to failure and falling over."

Saintsing says it's also important to look at the leaves.  If the canopy starts turning brown or falls off, it could be a sign of damage.

If you notice anything wrong with your tree, he recommends calling an expert to come and check it out.  He says a lot of services will provide evaluations for free.

© 2017 WFMY-TV


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