A Guide for What to Do After Lightning Strikes a Tree in Your Yard
The first thing that needs doing is to assess the damage. The best way to do this is by looking at the tree’s trunk and checking for cracks or splits in its bark. If there are any noticeable damages, it would be wise not only for safety but also so that the tree can heal correctly, if possible, not attempt repairs yourself. This will help ensure that branches don’t come crashing down during high winds or storms later on when they’re no longer supported.
Not all damage is noticeable; there could be internal damage. Internal flaws or cracks can only be noted when the tree is cut down or, in the case of more giant trees like Redwoods, when the top portion sheers off by tree service professionals (it’s too dangerous for homeowners to attempt this). If you deem it safe to do so and have a chainsaw at your disposal, you may want to cut a small portion of the trunk off yourself to get a better look inside. If you don’t have a chainsaw, though, there’s no need to put yourself or others in danger by retrieving high-up branches or excavating roots with shovels and pickaxes!
If nothing looks out-of-place on the outside, but there are significant cracks and splits inside, it may be best to call a professional arborist for further analysis. They will tell you whether or not the tree is safe and if it can stay where it is or must go. When contacting an arborist, ask if they would like you to relocate the tree yourself or if professionals should only do that kind of work.
Call a professional if you deem your yard too small, dangerous (either to others via falling limbs and roots), or otherwise inconvenient for removing a downed tree yourself! Be wary of asking neighbors if they’ve had any experience removing trees and their tools and techniques because this could make them feel like you’re accusing them of negligence (even though that’s not what you mean). People might not understand that the task of removing a fallen tree is one that homeowners often assume as their own without realizing how difficult it can be.
Importantly, these quick steps may come in handy.
• Stay away from the tree.
• Call 911 if you see any downed power lines or broken windows.
• Do not use your phone, computer, or any other electronic device near the tree.
• If there are trees nearby, keep at least 10 feet between them and the lightning-struck tree.
• Keep children and pets away for their safety. Put on rubber boots to protect yourself from electrical shock if you need to touch something metal nearby that a power line could electrify.
After lightning strikes a tree in your yard, the best thing you can do is to be safe and not touch anything. Call your local power company if there are any power lines down. If the tree falls on something that could cause injury, call 911 or contact your local emergency services immediately!