Lightning Protection for Trees

Lightning Protection for Trees
on March 1, 2016 in Helpfull Tips, Tree Care Advice

Lightning can have devastating effects on your property and your trees’ biological functions and structural integrity. AAA Tree Experts offers lightning protection systems in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and ANSI Z133 standards (National Arborists Association), in order to minimize the risk of damage from a lightning strike to your trees. Lightning strikes are unpredictable and protection cannot be 100% guaranteed, but our systems are very effective and affordable. Commercial electrical grade copper conductors connected to a ground rod reduce tree damage from lightning and provide a preferred path for electrical charges to the ground. An air terminal on top of the tree and attached to the end of the conductor intercepts lightning strikes. When properly installed, our tree lightning protection systems are not very noticeable, safe to your tree, and the working life of the major components can be as long as 50-100 years. If some component parts become damaged, they can be easily fixed or replaced.

Which trees are candidates for lightning protection? Trees that are taller than a close-by structure, have limbs that hang over the structure, or are within 10 feet of a structure. Maples, tulip trees, oaks, and pines tend to be the most susceptible to lightning strikes.

Tree lightning protection systems must be installed and maintained by a qualified arborist with training and experience with lightning protection systems. After we install the lightning protection systems, it should be inspected once a year to ensure they are intact and to replace fasteners to accommodate the growth of the tree(s).

Warning: our system is not designed to directly protect people from lightning strikes and you should never use a protected tree as a safe place during an electrical storm.
Lightning damage in trees is much more effectively prevented than repaired and is often less costly. Our arborists can recommend the installation of lightning protection systems where appropriate or the proper course of action if a tree has been struck by lightning.

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