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Author Topic: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak  (Read 3571 times)

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Offline AndyC

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Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« on: September 06, 2011, 01:51:01 PM »
Hi Folks -- The picture below is of a white swamp oak that had a lightning strike about 2 weeks ago.  The lightning spiraled all the way from ground to the tip around the tree.  It is massive - well over 4 1/2 ft DBH and 105' tall.  All of the leaves have died since then except 1 large branch.  It had an existing spiral to the tree apparently from a previous strike many years or decades ago and the new strike followed down the same exact line.  Blew the bark about 30-50 ft away from the tree.  Going to have a lot of firewood for the next few years.  I had never seen a spiral like this and thought I'd share everyone like pictures. 



Offline beenthere

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2011, 02:20:25 PM »
Andy
The spiral is in the grain of the tree, introduced as the tree grows. The lightning just follows that grain. Pretty pronounced spiral. Will make good firewood. :)
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Offline SPIKER

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2011, 08:21:46 PM »
Somewhere back in the day I had a pic of a swamp elm that was same that was outside my bedroom window (ah 150' away.)   I was watching when the bolt hit the tree & left me blinking for a few min.  It left 5 or 6 spiral 1x1" strips that laid out at the base of the tree un-folded like a flower or something.   was really interesting to look at & the bark was pretty much square the way it peeled it out like it was on a lath & cut deliberately...   Looking a the Elm was very similar to your photo.   

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Offline WDH

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2011, 10:27:00 PM »
That is a grand ole tree to meet such a fate.  Salvage as much as you can.
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Offline DRB

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2011, 12:58:07 AM »
A shame it is probably not usable as lumber now it was spiral grained and I bet it is cracked bad after that strike. Odds are it will be presplit when you cut the log up.  You may  get lucky but odds are against it. 

Online thecfarm

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2011, 07:20:56 AM »
I have a few cedars that would probably look like that if they got hit by lighting. Interesting.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #6 on: September 15, 2011, 03:06:28 PM »
Spiral is odd, but it does happen.  Yours is really extensive like a Barber Pole.
 


Sometimes spiral.
 


Sometimes straight>
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Offline ljmathias

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2011, 09:41:52 PM »
Lightning is weird stuff- we had 5 trees hit during three different storms this year, all within 100' of each other.  First hit was a white oak, bark exploded off just like you saw- sadly, all five trees are dead or dying and I have to take them down soon.  Heard beetles in one of the three pines that was hit... >:(



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Offline WDH

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Re: Lightning Spiral - Swamp Oak
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 07:12:22 AM »
Those are the ambrosia beetles chewing away.  The bark beetles, probably Ips, have already come and gone.  When you see the frass at the bottom of the tree, the ambrosia's are there.  That new house is going to need some oak furniture and at least one grits table  ;D.
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