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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have this 40" black walnut tree in my yard that was struck by lightning friday nite. the storm woke me up around 2am and i was watching this area of the yard. with all the lightning i could pretty well see like it was day light. the fireball blinded me and then a boom that should have broke windows hit. i couldn't see the damage that night, but it was easy to see at day break.

lightning blew off a 6"x10' strip of bark off one side and split the bark all over the tree. some of the splits go up as far as i can see, thru multiple branches. 2 days and the leaves are still there with no wilt. i'm hoping for the best, it's the biggest of nine walnut trees in my yard. 70 to 80 feet tall with a 60 foot spread, plus it has a twin 60 feet away. these 2 walnuts were my big draw when i looked at the property 23 years ago

hopefully they survive or i'll have a lot of walnut for sale

south side
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north side
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bark split as far up as you can see on many branches.
there's a bit of charring in this crotch, also where i saw the fireball
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this pic was taken in my back yard, before my daughters wedding, 11 years ago.
house left, 50' tent center and 28' tall barn right, 8 black walnut trees visible
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wow - that was a hard hit !!
some trees die right away - some can take 8 years.
just hope for the best. (Tree Wound Tar on the bare wood will help ward off the bugs that can cause more damage).
 

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If it were me I would try to save the tree. Up above the crotch of the tree where it is splitting I would put a steel cable between the two to relieve some of the stress pulling at the two halves. You might also put a threaded rod through the tree just below the crotch. Then that loose piece of bark tack it back on with nails. It won't grow back but would look better. It's kind of subjective whether to fill the crack or not. Some say fill it and some say let the tree heal itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If it were me I would try to save the tree. Up above the crotch of the tree where it is splitting I would put a steel cable between the two to relieve some of the stress pulling at the two halves. You might also put a threaded rod through the tree just below the crotch. Then that loose piece of bark tack it back on with nails. It won't grow back but would look better. It's kind of subjective whether to fill the crack or not. Some say fill it and some say let the tree heal itself.
I don't think that the tree is actually split, the lightning blew the bark off as the power went to ground. I read that lightning strike turns the water into steam, blowing out the bark. That morning we stapled the cambium layer back on and smucked on a mixture of diatomaceous earth, wood ash and compost. Sort of like grafting an apple tree, we're just grafting the bark back on. Who knows? I'll keep it moist for a while
 

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I don't think that the tree is actually split, the lightning blew the bark off as the power went to ground. I read that lightning strike turns the water into steam, blowing out the bark. That morning we stapled the cambium layer back on and smucked on a mixture of diatomaceous earth, wood ash and compost. Sort of like grafting an apple tree, we're just grafting the bark back on. Who knows? I'll keep it moist for a while
All I can go by is the pictures you have shown and it appears the opposite side of where the bark is blown off the tree is split all the way to the ground.

Maybe since you stapled the bark back on right away it will grow back together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
this walnut would definitely break if it were split, the crown on this thing is massive. it's hard to get the scale on the size of this tree, but my barn/shop is 28' tall and 50' wide. the trunk is maybe 40" diameter, i should measure the circumference to confirm my estimate. you can see it's twin to the right. the right walnut used to be the big one when we bought this place 23 years ago, it had been struck by lightning too, but was already healed over. i keep expecting the right walnut to go over in a storm as it is hollow. squirrels love it and of course all the walnuts

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