Lightning protection for trees

3:53 PM, Jun 26, 2012   |    comments
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AVONDALE ESTATES, Ga. -- Georgia is known for its abundance of trees, and for many homeowners, large, mature trees in their yard, were one of the main factors in buying their homes. But Mother Nature doesn't spare these trees, so what do you do to protect them from lightning?

Several local companies, including ArborGuard, provide lightning protection systems to save your trees from lightning.

Jonathan McNeil, Director of Operations at ArborGuard explained, "If lightning were to come within a certain proximity of the tree, lightning uses the path of least resistance, it's going to travel down a copper cable travelling into the ground, where there's a ground rod buried outside the zone of the tree."

Think of it like a system of downspouts and gutters on your roof, but instead of for water, this is for electricity. If you didn't have gutters and downspouts on your home, water would collect at the foundation causing damage. Similarly, if lightning strikes the top of the tree, it follows the copper wire and the current flows along the outside of the tree and safely down into the ground.

"There's several different types of trees that are more susceptible to lighting strikes," McNeil said. "Tulip poplars, pine, large oaks, generally anything larger than 75 feet with a crown spread larger than 35 feet would be an ideal tree to be protected

If you're interested, this service generally runs around $1,300 to $1,600 depending on the size and shape of the tree.

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