Lightning Injury

Symptoms

Lightning injury symptoms are quite variable, but often include dark longitudinal streaks, "shot holes", bleeding, and splitting of the trunk, and sudden collapse of the crown (Figs. 1-4). Lightning strikes are usually fatal to palms. Palms struck by lightning may die quickly (within a couple of days) or slowly (up to 6 months following the strike).

Cause

Direct or indirect strikes by lightning.

Occurrence

Lightning injury is fairly common in areas receiving frequent electrical storms. Although tall palms are most susceptible, shorter palms adjacent to a struck palm can also be affected.

Last updated May 2015

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