White oak struck by lightning- what do I do?

Asked January 6, 2020, 1:25 PM EST

In early August, the white oak in our backyard was struck by lightning. Now we are trying to figure out if it's still alive or if it needs to be removed. We've gotten 4 opinions from arborists - 2 think it is dead and should come down, 2 think it is alive and can stay up. We'd love to keep the tree, but it's large enough (and close to the house), that if it is dead, it would pose a serious safety hazard. We'd like an objective opinion on what to do. Thanks!

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

At this point we recommend that you wait until spring and see if the tree leafs out. Make an assessment after the leaves come out as to how much is alive, is it a hazard, etc. We are not onsite and cannot make a recommendation as to whether the tree is a hazard and what work needs to be done.

In the spring we suggest that you consult with at least one or two more professional, certified arborists and/or consulting arborists to give you opinions and the best way to proceed. In order to find a certified arborist in your area, please go to the following website. You will note that there are Consulting Arborists available, as well. They have more education and training. Here is more information on Consulting Arborists and the website https://www.asca-consultants.org/

Also, many tree care companies (especially large companies like Bartlett or Davey among others) do not charge for an onsite evaluation. You will have to ask. Here is the certified arborist website.