When lightning strikes, the sap in the bark of the tree is subject to extreme temperatures many times hotter than the surface of the Sun due to electrical resistance. That’s why some trees violently explode when struck by lightning. Electricity will always take the shortest route in order to complete the circuit. Lightning takes the path of least resistance , so a tree in the field or a tall object is closer to the source of the lightning and is the path of least resistance. A tree doesn’t always have to split in two–sometimes, the effects can run far deeper. Lightning that “hits the ground” is actually a current discharge traveling from the ground up to the cloud. Relevance. Why does lightning strike trees? When lightning strikes a tree, it travels through the water molecules inside it. The electrical resistance causes the sap to be heated into steam, which can make it explode. Anonymous. If the tree is … Answer Save. They do strike houses and churches, that is why these have Lightning rods that earth the strike. Ray;mond. 6 Answers. When storm clouds form, a negative charge is built up within the cloud. Often, safety measures and precautions against lightning strikes do not receive as much publicity as other natural disasters such as earthquakes. To explain this, I need to describe how lightning happens. This is why some lightning strikes result in the bark of a tree appearing to explode in large chunks. Now that storm season is upon us, you should be aware of what lightning can do to your tree. 5 years ago. We saw one tree with no bark and pieces of bark on the ground at the foot of the tree. Lv 7. The mechanism of lightning is the key here. 0 0. Because trees are a good enough electrical conductor to attract lightning like a lightning rod. The odds of lightning striking are different at different locations. 5 years ago. Lightning doesn’t strike twice, but just one hit to your favorite tree may lead to damage that isn’t immediately visible. Explained: How lightning strikes, and why it kills Occurrences of lightning are not tracked in India, and there is simply not enough data for scientists to work with. If the outer layer of bark is soaked from excessive rainfall, however, the lightning may travel along the outside of the tree to the ground, resulting in little damage .