Question: Lightning hit our large tree. How can we tell how much damage it did?

Answer: There isn’t a good answer for that, because all lightning strikes will vary. If it splintered the trunk, the tree is obviously badly hurt, but if it just knocked the bark off one side, it very likely could recover. You probably should contact a veteran arborist for an on-site consultation. You could also take photos to a Certified Nursery Professional. You can clean up the minor damage by using a utility knife, chisel or pruning knife to cut away all the jagged bark, but cut none that is still firmly attached. Be careful when propping your ladder against a trunk or limb that has been damaged by lightning. It may not support your weight.

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