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lightning strikes

 
john giroux
Posts: 138
Location: Cumming, GA
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3 trees got zapped last weekend. One was rotted, two are really nice 25 to 30 year oaks. There are marks a few inches deep and as wide as my hand in them and they go from root to crown. Any chance of them living? The force of the strike is unreal...I have found bits of tree almost a 100 yards away.
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Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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My only experience is with pines, and it was 100% fatal. I would harvest for firewood or lumber.

BTW, how deep is the hole in the ground at the entry point? Also, look for glass if you have sand there.
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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I've seen large oaks and pines live for many years, but if you need firewood, the oak may be a good one to cull.
 
john giroux
Posts: 138
Location: Cumming, GA
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Looked for the glass. Not much sand here in north Georgia. Think I will watch the for the rest of the season and see what they do. On a brighter note....harvested my first batch of honey! Delicious!
 
Nick Garbarino
Posts: 239
Location: west central Florida
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You're brave.
 
Joe Braxton
Posts: 320
Location: NC (northern piedmont)
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BTW, the damage wasn't so much from the lightning itself. The heat energy caused the water in the tree to flash to steam at high pressure with the obvious results...
 
Craig Dobbelyu
pollinator
Posts: 1239
Location: Maine (zone 5)
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forest garden hugelkultur
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You might find that the tree will suffer through the rest of the year from the trauma. It may take a couple years to know for sure if it's going to survive. There's no cost to waiting right? If it does die back then you could use it as habitat for critters if you like. If you have a use for it as fire wood then it's best to cut it while it's a little green just so save the wear and tear on saws and splitters. Once it dies and dries, the wood could be tough to cut. If it lives... great.
 
Varina Lakewood
Posts: 116
Location: Colorado
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I've seen quite a few trees survive lightning strikes. Not all do, of course, and it takes them a few years to bounce back, but eventually they'll start to heal over the wound. You should be able to tell within a year or two at most if they will survive and thrive, or die a lingering (or quick) death.
 
john giroux
Posts: 138
Location: Cumming, GA
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After looking around there are many trees.with evidence of strikes that are doing fine. Tome will tell.
 
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