Two years ago, lightning struck a large red oak tree near my house. It survived the lightning strike, but it has been sick looking for the past two summers. If I go ahead and take the tree out this fall, can the tree be sawed into lumber? I wonder if the lightning damages the wood in any way for woodworking purposes?


When lightning strikes a tree but does not cause a fire or split the tree open, the wood will certainly be useable for lumber or turning. The action of the voltage from the lightning may cause some variations in the color inside the tree, but not its structional integrity. In poplar, it may cause black streaks. I have seen black appear in oak as well. Have an arborist look at the tree to see if it needs removing. If it needs to be taken down, by all means cut it up and have fun using the wood in some woodworking projects.

Phil Colson
Highland Woodworking

See Previous Newsletters Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Copyright © 2008 Highland Woodworking, Inc.