Elm tree stuck by lightning thriving; no sign of Dutch elm disease

Maplewood resident Luke Havel has an elm tree in his yard that was struck by lightning in 2014 and was recently worried it has Dutch elm disease. An arborist he called to look at the tree on Wednesday told him it’s healthy.

In addition to the scar on the trunk from the lightning, some branches appear dead and some bark is peeling off the tree.

Havel estimates the tree is about a hundred years old, planted not long after his house was built.

The lightning hit the tree in the crown damaged it all the way down to the base. Arborist, Bryan Davidson, with Gamma Tree, said the tree is healing well from the lightning strike as well as from some pruning cuts. It’s also full of leaf buds, which indicates it’s in good health.

Havel said Davidson’s analysis leaves him hopeful that the tree may be in good health yet.

Havel said there will be another inspection in the spring, and possible cutting for lab analysis by MU Extension if there is fresh limb die back.

Luke Havel and Bryan Davidson inspect Havel’s elm tree.

Davidson said the tree is healing well from the lightning strike and pruning cuts.

Luke Havel took these photos of the elm tree after it was struck by lightning in 2014.

3 thoughts on “Elm tree stuck by lightning thriving; no sign of Dutch elm disease

  1. Luke is a fantastic neighbor who really cares about Maplewood and preserving its character. I am so glad that he takes the time to research things. He is a wealth of knowledge of historic homes! I am so happy to hear that his tree is doing well.

  2. I’m grateful someone is interested in saving trees these days. Most people are more about ripping them out. Good luck to you and good health to your tree!

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