Lightning is very destructive for humans and trees alike. When you have an oak tree in your yard and you suspect that it has been struck with lightning, make sure that you practice the necessary measures to save it. For you to be able to do so, you need to first confirm whether lightning did strike your oak tree by referring to the most common signs below.
One of the most obvious signs that your oak tree was struck by lightning is when you see a crack or a slit that runs down your tree’s trunk. Otherwise, you may also find chunks of bark stripped off your oak tree. In some instances, you may also see sparse leaves or wilted ones throughout the canopy. Sometimes, you will also see blackened areas in your tree’s bark. After a careful evaluation of the damage that the lightning has caused, the next step is for you to help your tree recover from it.
What You Should Do:
Help Minimize Water Loss
Most oak trees can overcome the damage that lightning causes but you need to help your tree do so. In this case, you can help minimize its water loss, particularly during the first 8-24 hours after it has been struck by lightning. Making sure that your tree has plenty of water is one of the best things that you can do if you are wondering how to save an oak tree struck by lightning. This is because moisture loss is considered the most stressful part that your tree needs to overcome after the incident.
Aid In Its Natural Healing Process
Aside from making sure that your tree has ample water to survive, you should also aid in its natural healing process. This means that as much as possible, you need to resist the urge to treat the wounds of your tree yourself. Hence, it will be better to steer clear from trimming away the damaged area or even trying to apply wound dressing solutions. Rather, you should provide your tree with extra fertilizer to encourage its natural growth and regeneration.
Avoid Pruning Too Soon
Lastly, make sure that you don’t prune your tree too soon. It may take a while for your tree to heal, which is why you should wait and observe for at least a couple of months to see whether your tree is improving. In this case, you can even consider seeking the advice of a professional arborist to have a better idea of how the healing process of your tree is coming through.
IMAGE SOURCE: https://pixabay.com/photos/tree-storm-sky-lightning-rain-164025/
Make sure that you assess your oak tree carefully because, in this way, you will be able to determine whether it was indeed struck by lightning. After this, you will be able to take the necessary steps in an attempt to save it. Rest assured that oak trees are known to have sufficient energy reserves that provide them with a great chance of recovery even after being struck by lightning.