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Summer Storms Pose a Threat To Our Trees

Lightning damage has been responsible for the loss of many of our largest trees. Many of our remaining tall trees have been struck, sometimes multiple times, but have managed to recover. Sadly the magnificent oak in the African American grounds was struck last spring, a large portion of the canopy has died and we won’t know for some time if we will lose the tree completely. These strikes, and their frequency on the grounds, aren’t surprising considering our position high on a hill, but it is something we want to avoid whenever possible.
Arborguard has been doing a great deal of work on the grounds over the past several months. This work has focused on efforts to keep our trees healthy, and grants from individuals, garden clubs and the Waterfall Foundation made the work possible. We were able to provide organic soil treatment and fertilization to all of our mature trees and correctively prune about 30% of them. We were also able to install lightning protection systems in five of the largest and most significant trees.
These systems do not stop the lightning but rather divert it so that the tree is not irreparably harmed.  It is based on the fact that different materials have different degrees of conductivity and copper is one of the best conductors. Specialized copper conductor wires are attached to a tree’s trunk and select limbs, with their tips strategically placed throughout the canopy. These tips serve to intercept lightning, and send the powerful force of energy down through the conductor wires to the LPS’ ground system, bypassing the tree’s root system and routing it harmlessly into the ground.
Nothing can completely protect a tree from nature’s fury, but we hope these efforts will enable our trees to withstand the storms that come.

Arborguard at work on our beautiful trees.
Arborguard at work on our beautiful trees.
Arborguard at work on our beautiful trees.

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