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Lightning struck pecan tree

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  • Lightning struck pecan tree

    Last week lightning stuck one of my pecan trees. It had grown into three large "trunks" (because I hadn't properly pruned it to a single trunk when it was young), and the lightning strike separated one of the three from the tree. At the moment it's still attached by a ribbon of bark and is still green and shows no signs of wilting. The fallen part has to be separated from the trunk and removed.

    The separated bark seems quite wide to me, and the split off trunk is about a foot in diameter. I have no idea if the tree will be able to heal itself, but I want to give it the best shot for that. Should I just leave it alone for a while to get over the shock, or should I go ahead now and separate the fallen trunk from the rest of the tree?

    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire

  • #2
    We had a Hackberry tree struck by lightning a number of years ago. Split nearly a third of the the tree off. The split part is still attached to the trunk, and the large section of tree lays on the ground at the end of the branches. Damned if it (the tree and the sheared off part) aren't both alive and well. We didn't intentionally leave it that way... we just never had the extra $$$ to hire an arborist and my DH isn't exactly an expert with our chain saw. Besides, it seemed silly to spend all that money on an old, horrible hackberry tree (honestly, they are the WORST trees).

    I used to have pecan trees at my former house. Loved them - even if the push mower did turn those pecans into projectiles! With a pecan tree that I really cherished, I might contact a few tree people and possibly my USDA office or extension office and see what they recommend. Because I'd hate to loose a really nice tree.
    ~~ How do you catch a loose horse? Make a noise like a carrot! - British Cavalry joke ~~


    • #3
      FWIW, "tree people" should be certified arborists if you are going to get others involved

      And, the same suggestion I would make if you want to give your tree the best possible chance to heal and survive.
      Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge


      • #4
        I'd get a pro out there. Pecan trees take a long time to mature, so every year is precious.

        We had one that had been planted for 7 years, and someone snapped it at the base doing work on a tractor. We called an arborist out, they took a look and helped us barely get the little guy put back together, and then he said leave it - either it will live or not.

        It bore nuts for the first time this year!


        • Original Poster

          Believe it or not, there are only three certified arborists in North Mississippi: one near Memphis, one near Alabama, and one doesn't list an address, but has a North Mississippi area code.
          "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
          Thread killer Extraordinaire


          • #6
            ISA certified arborists have an extensive training program before becoming certified

            I'd call all 3 and find out what their process would be to come out and look at your pecan. Most will do an estimate without charge (at least in my area). Full size, mature trees took many years to get that way and do included a 'value' in their maturity. Often, not always, paying for a certified arborist to come out and evaluate a mature tree is worth the cost over risking a damaged tree dying and/or falling over with potential associated property damage.

            Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge