How Lightning Can Make a Dying Tree Go Boom!

Posted on: 12 November 2019

Trees don't die as quickly as other living things do. They can linger on for years, steadily weakening over time. However, a dying tree is a time bomb just waiting for the right moment to go off. Dying trees have weaker root systems, branches and trunks. As a result, though they might not appear so to the untrained eye, dying trees are a health and safety hazard that your property doesn't need.

When the weather is calm, dying or dead trees pose no risk to you or your property. However, during Australia's storm season, which starts in November and ends in April, a dying tree could put you, your neighbours and your property at risk.

Lightning Turns Dying Trees into Dynamite

As trees die, their branches and stem gradually dry out. This is because dying trees don't take in or transport as much water and food as they do when they are healthy. On the outside, your tree will look brittle and naked without its leaves. On the inside, your tree will be drying out, with the remaining moisture mostly concentrated deep in the centre of the trunk.

When it comes to storms, especially electrical storms, a dying tree on your property puts you and anyone else in the vicinity at great risk. Healthy trees don't always die or even suffer much damage when struck by lightning. However, when lightning strikes a dying tree and uses the moisture-laden centre to reach the ground, that tree could explode, sending shrapnel in all directions.

If that happens, those flying pieces of woody debris could injure someone. And even if they don't, they could damage your property and spread fire if the pieces are alight when they land.

Dying Trees Are a Fire Hazard

During an electrical storm, having a dying or dead tree on your property is a fire hazard. Even if lightning doesn't strike your tree, if lightning strikes somewhere nearby and causes a fire, your tree could provide that fire with a huge amount of fuel via which it will spread to the surrounding areas.

According to, dead trees can cause bushfires to spread rapidly. As a result, it is best to remove one if you have one on your property, especially during summer, when droughts and electrical storms increase the risk of bushfires starting.

Do you have a dead tree on your property? Then hire a tree removal service to remove it now, before it becomes a fire hazard.