Removing a Tree Hit by Lightning: What You Need to Know

Lightning is one of the most powerful forces of nature and can have a devastating impact on trees. When a tree is hit by lightning, the electrical energy from the lightning strike can cause significant damage to the tree's structure and tissues.

What happens to a tree when it’s hit by lightning?

Lightning is one of the most powerful forces of nature and can have a devastating impact on trees. When a tree is hit by lightning, the electrical energy from the lightning strike can cause significant damage to the tree’s structure and tissues.

One of the first things that can occur is the bark of the tree splitting or cracking, damaging the outer layer and exposing the inner wood to potential decay and disease. This can weaken the overall structure of the tree and make it more susceptible to further damage.

The high heat and energy generated by the lightning strike can also cause branches to snap or break off, leaving the tree with significant damage and potentially making it unstable. This can pose a hazard to people and property, as the tree may fall or break without warning.

In addition to the branches and bark, the trunk of the tree can also be damaged by a lightning strike, causing cracks, splits, or other forms of structural damage. In severe cases, the trunk can be completely split in half, making the tree unstable and potentially hazardous.

The roots of the tree can also be affected by a lightning strike, causing damage that can impact the tree’s stability and ability to absorb water and nutrients from the soil. This can lead to further deterioration of the tree over time and increase the risk of it falling or breaking.

In some cases, the lightning strike can cause the tree to become electrified, posing a potential hazard to people and animals that come into contact with the tree. This is why it is important to keep your distance from a tree that has been struck by lightning and to seek the assistance of a professional if you need to remove it.

tree split by lightning

When removing a tree hit by lightning, there are several factors to consider:


When it comes to removing a tree that has been damaged by lightning, safety should be your top priority. In the immediate aftermath of a tree being struck by lightning, it’s important to keep your distance, stay away from standing water, and make sure to immediately report any power lines that may have been damaged when the tree fell. Regardless of the extent of the damage to the tree, the process of removing a tree can be dangerous and requires special equipment and training. If you are concerned about your safety or the safety of others, hiring a professional is the only way to ensure that the removal is performed in a cautious and diligent manner, protecting everyone involved.

2.Damage Assessment

Once a tree care professional is contacted, they will come out to the property to perform a comprehensive assessment of the tree. Being there on site to view the tree will help them determine the extent of the damage caused by the lightning strike. They will examine the trunk, branches, and roots to determine if there is any structural damage or decay. They will also consider factors such as the overall health of the tree and its ability to recover from the damage. Based on their assessment, the contractor will recommend either trimming damaged branches and allowing the tree to recover, or removing the tree if it poses a risk to your property or the surrounding area.


It is best to remove a tree as soon as possible after it has been hit by lightning. The timing of tree removal is critical for several reasons. Firstly, the longer you wait, the more the tree will deteriorate and become weaker. This can make removal more difficult and increase the risk of injury to yourself or others. Additionally, if the tree has sustained significant damage, it may become a hazard to your property or the surrounding area, posing a risk to people and structures.

If the tree is diseased or decaying, waiting to remove it may result in the spread of the disease to other trees in your area. Early removal can help prevent the spread of disease and maintain the overall health of your landscape.

Disposal of Your Trees

After a tree has been removed, the disposal process must be properly managed to minimize any potential hazards or negative impact on the environment. An experienced tree care professional will have the knowledge and equipment necessary to properly handle the disposal of the tree.

This may involve chipping the branches and trunk into small pieces for composting or recycling, or it may involve removing the entire tree in one piece from the property. The contractor will consider factors such as local regulations, the size of the tree, and the location of the removal to determine the best method for disposal.

In some cases, the wood from the tree may be used to create lumber, firewood, or other wood products. This can help reduce the waste associated with tree removal and provide you with a sustainable and environmentally-friendly solution.

In any case, your tree care professional will handle the disposal of the tree in a safe and responsible manner, ensuring that the impact on the environment is minimized and that any potential hazards are properly addressed. By working with an experienced tree care professional, you can rest assured that the removal and disposal of the tree will be handled efficiently and effectively.

Removing a tree hit by lightning can be a challenging and dangerous task. If you are not confident in your abilities, it is best to call in a professional tree removal service. By following the tips outlined above, you can ensure the safety of yourself and others while removing the tree and disposing of it properly.