Death of a tree from a lightning strike is not easily diagnosed. Some trees die immediately from small external damage while others with serious scars may live on for many years. If the tree does not appear to have structural damage from the strike, give it plenty of water and wait to see if it recovers.
FACT: Lightning kills more people than tornadoes and hurricanes.
FACT: Most deaths occur in open fields near or under trees or around water.
FACT: Lightning strikes the earth somewhere 100 times every second.
FACT: The temperature of a lightning flash can be 30,000 degrees Celsius – five times
hotter than the sun.
FACT: Peak currents can be 20,000 amps.
For more information, view Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Extension publication, Trees and Lightning.
Find other resources for trees at:
Frequently Asked Questions, Forestry and Natural Resources
The Education Store, Purdue Extension
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue Extension