The Benefits of a Lightning Protection System
The Southeastern United States experiences the highest frequency of lightning storms across the country, having seen plenty in the last month alone here in Georgia. More than a million trees get struck by lightning every year in the U.S. – let’s prevent it from happening to yours.
Lightning protection systems can protect your trees, effectively eliminating the risk of damage to the tree. Below we highlight the dangers of lightning strikes on trees and the benefits of installing a lightning protection system.
What Happens if a Tree is Struck by Lightning?
A tree can either be killed immediately by a lightning strike or severely weaken them so they’re susceptible to die of other causes. Trees often need to be removed after being struck by lightning as their structure is unstable and potentially dangerous.
Sometimes, lightning can ‘jump’ from a stricken tree to a nearby structure and cause much more severe damage, especially if the structure is within ten feet of the tree.
You should call a certified arborist as soon as possible if your tree has been struck by lightning so that a thorough assessment can be made of the tree’s health and structural integrity.
What Does a Lightning Protection System Do?
Lightning protection systems are made up of copper wires and ground rods which divert the charge of the lightning from the tree to the ground. Each individual tree is different and therefore requires its own specific design for a lightning protection system. Each major limb is fitted with the correct hardware, and the copper wire runs down the trunk.
Lightning seldom strikes trees that have been fitted with a lightning protection system in accordance with ANSI (American National Standards Institute) A300 Standards. Although we cannot prevent lightning from striking your trees, we can install a lightning protection system that will protect your trees and significantly reduce the chances of them being struck.
Which Trees are Most Vulnerable?
If you have a lot of trees and it’s simply not feasible to finance lightning protection systems for every one, narrow them down to the most vulnerable. Typically, the most vulnerable trees are those which are tallest, as well as certain types of tree, such as oak, pine, and maple. Additionally, you may want to invest in protecting your historically significant trees.
Trees within ten feet of your house or other structures are some of the most important ones to protect by installing a system as they can facilitate side-flashes of lightning from your tree to the structure itself, causing much more significant damage.
Our certified arborists have the experience and knowledge to provide lightning protection installation, repairs, lightning detection, warning systems, and perform inspections on systems. Protect those gentle giants in your yard and call us today to book a consultation here at Empire Tree.