Lightning de-barked my tree

Last night my river birch was hit by lightning. I guess that explains why you shouldn't stand under a tree during a storm.
Anyway, the tree is still standing, but it lost a significant portion of its bark on about the bottom 20 ft. of the trunk. There are no scorch marks, so I guess the bark was just popped off when the moisture underneath turned to steam instantaneously. I collected a garbage can full of bark chunks.
Do I need to do anything to the denuded areas, or just leave it alone? Or, is there a more appropriate newsgroup where I should ask about this?
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Normally a tree will slowly die from being de-barked. I it does die, I would leave it there, after trimming some side limbs, and the dead trunk, if it doesn't pose a danger to fences/buildings. A dead tree will stand for years, and will attract various trunk nesting birds, such as flickers, woodpeckers, etc. Plus, it has a story.
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That sounds like good advice. We had the same thing happen here, only it took off a good 30 ft of bark and cleared a nice, neat path all the way to our wire fence! Char marks on the ground, but none on the tree, interestingly enough. Dunno how many hits there really were, but there were at least two very loud, massive concussions following it. My wife was just letting the dogs in when it hit - she nearly had a heart attack. We did just about as you advised, and yeah, it died of course. My nephew cut it down for firewood a few years later; enough to do him the whole winter and have a few pieces left over! There was bark all over the place, some in long stips like a giant rawhide. Intersting but sad to lose the shade.
Just my 2 cents,
Pop
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As a biologist, not an arborist, I would agree that you have good reason to be concerned about the tree. The outer layer (not the bark) is the living tissue, and the center has a secondary function. So, with the bark gone, the living section is open to disease. Secondarily, lets hope the trauma of the hit isn't severe enough to affect it. This may take some time to surface. You may want to check with your town, or city if they have arborists for consult, or the Arborist society online.
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rec.gardens and alt.home.lawn.garden might produce an extra hundred responses. You might also want to call a local cooperative extension service, if you've got one.
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Doug Kanter wrote:

Yet two more usenet groups where your imbecility is ever evident.
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I am in awe of your wit, Seor Schizo. Now, go clean your room.
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-> Last night my river birch was hit by lightning. I guess that -> explains why you shouldn't stand under a tree during a storm. -> -> Anyway, the tree is still standing, but it lost a significant -> portion of its bark on about the bottom 20 ft. of the trunk. There -> are no scorch marks, so I guess the bark was just popped off when -> the moisture underneath turned to steam instantaneously. I -> collected a garbage can full of bark chunks. -> -> Do I need to do anything to the denuded areas, or just leave it -> alone? Or, is there a more appropriate newsgroup where I should ask -> about this?
You could ask in rec.gardens, too.
--
8^)~~~ Sue (remove the x to e-mail)
~~~~~~
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Did you know that if a man gets hit between the legs by lightning it peels the skin off his penis? That's a few seconds before he dies.
Well, maybe you didn't want to know that !!!!!
However, there is a solution. Never lay on your back when you have an erection at the beach. Lightning always hits the highest point.
As for your tree, it will probably die, but sometimes they survive. Let mother nature decide for you. They die slowly. You can always cut it down after it dies. If there is some continous bark from the ground to the top of the tree, it may survive. If not, say bye !!!
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On Sun, 24 Jul 2005 10:07:17 -0500, Peabody

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In alt.home.repair on Sun, 24 Jul 2005 10:07:17 -0500 Peabody

You need a xylem/phloem transplant.
First, you need to find a donor tree. Sometimes trees have been kidnapped from the woods and used without their consent.
Actually, I'm kidding but I wonder if it might work. I wouldn't expect it to work the first time, for you, but I wonder how many tries it would take to iron out the bugs.
Meirman -- If emailing, please let me know whether or not you are posting the same letter. Change domain to erols.com, if necessary.
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