Tree struck by lightning

Asked July 20, 2020, 6:20 PM EDT

About 2 weeks ago a very large tree in my back yard was struck by lightning. A strip of bark shot off about 100ft long and anywhere from 2-12in in width. There are a few spots on the bottom that are charred black, and some of the dirt over the roots was pushed up. Wondering if there is any hope for this tree, or its a goner.

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

These are common effects of a lightning strike, and unfortunately it's a matter of wait-and-see to determine if too much damage was done to the roots or cambium (sapwood just underneath the bark - the living part of the trunk). There is nothing you can do otherwise, as the tree will either be able to callous-over the damage and regrow enough roots on its own or not. Monitor it for dieback or other symptoms and consult an arborist if needed as they appear; this process of symptom expression could take up to a full year from when the strike occurred.
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/lightning-damage

The second and third links on this page lead you to arborist search tools: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/how-do-you-decide-when-remove-tree

Miri