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Thousands of trees are struck by lightning every year. These trees will have varying degrees of damage ranging from complete shattering and destruction of the tree, to a slow lingering death, to virtually no apparent damage at all (Figure 1).
Conifers are commonly planted in North America to provide year-round screening, as windbreaks or as focal trees in the landscape.
Ice or snow loads can cause branch breakage or failure of entire trees and shrubs. Branches or entire trees that fall in storms can impact homes, vehicles, power lines and block roads.