Lightning strikes thousands of unprotected trees in urban and suburban settings each year. The physics of lighting cause it to be attracted to the tallest objects in an area, and unfortunately, that can often be a tree. Not only is a lightning strike hard on a tree, sometimes killing it outright, and other times wounding it and leaving it susceptible to disease – it is also very hard on the surrounding area, which can include adjacent trees and buildings, even people.
Tree lightning protection systems (TLPS) provide a preferred point for the lightning to attach, then directs the lightning charge down to the ground. The system reduces the risk of damage to struck trees, adjacent trees and structures. Installed correctly and maintained periodically by arborists such as Capital Tree Service, a TLPS can provide protection to a tree and nearby structures for up to 50 years.
According to the ISA, trees that benefit the most from a TLPS include:
- Trees close to water
- Trees on hilltops or on slopes facing the direction of approaching storms
- The tallest tree in a group
- Trees growing in the open or in small groups
- Trees that border woods or line a street
- Trees in geographic regions with a history of lightning strikes.
A TLPS consists of wire or cable conductors, typically made of copper; connectors, also called splicers, that join the conductors; air terminals that provide a lightning strike point, and grounding electrodes. Each of these must meet industry standards for composition and diameter, and the whole TLPS system must be professionally installed.
Do you have a tree that needs protection from lightning strikes? Give Capital Tree Service a call.