Trees Struck by Lightning Strikes

Lightning can be a very scary thing; especially in Georgia. Our state leads the nation in lightning claims again! Lightning can cause damage to buildings, people and trees. A direct hit from a lightning strike is not the only concern because each strike can reach up to 5 miles of damage. The main area of concern is the direct strike but it can radiate damage much further. Lightning is known to reach up to 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit and has an electric charge up to 100 million volts. This can be very dangerous and can cause a serious amount of problems to whatever is in its path. The US has an average of 25 million lightning strikes a year.

Trees – a Target of Lightning Strikes

One of the things that lightning tends to hit is the tallest thing around. Therefore tall trees are hit more often than anything else. If there is a tree that is alone in an area or near water they are the most susceptible to a lightning strike. The problem with that is that many homes and neighborhoods are lined with trees. This makes them more likely to be hit.

Tree Damage – Indirect and Direct Hits

There are some trees that can have damage from a lightning strike and not show any outward signs. The lightning can run through the ground and cause damage to the root system. If the damage is significant the leaves and branches will start to wither and the tree can die within a few days. There are also instances where trees have damage done to them by a more direct hit. The lightning will hit the tree and will splinter the tree bark. It can also cause the branches and limbs to blow off the tree completely. This can leave the tree with some hazardous branches. When this happens you need to make a decision on what to do with the tree. Usually having the tree cut down and removed is the best and safest option.

The state of Georgia leads the nation in the amount of claims that are filed for lightning strike damage. In the last 3 years they have led the nation with Texas following in second place. State Farm estimates that there were over 3,800 claims filed with more than $21 million dollars’ worth of damage. If you have a tree that has been effected by lightning strike directly or indirectly you can call Milam’s Tree Service today to trim hazardous branches, clean up tree debris and if necessary have the affected tree removed.

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