Author Topic: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage  (Read 22171 times)

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Offline rick91351

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #50 on: July 31, 2015, 10:27:20 AM »
When I read this my mind went to the beetle infestation we have here.  If you are seeing a lot of bluing - bingo.  Couple things happened when it was struck - it is weakened....  weaker trees the beetles seek out first.  Second if growing close together there is much going on in the roots.  When water is scarce trees with better root systems survive over those who do not.  The lighting strike very well might have cooked the roots that seek and carry moisture.  After all they are the grounding rod.  That one is just a theory a forester told me one time.  Need to run it by PineCone....   
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #51 on: July 31, 2015, 12:48:19 PM »
When I read this my mind went to the beetle infestation we have here.  If you are seeing a lot of bluing - bingo.

We haven't seen active signs of beetles for a couple years. Lucky I guess. We see whole mountain sides of brown trees in parts of CO.  I think thinning  our trees has helped that a lot.  Most of the infested trees we've seen in the past showed sappy blobs, that the trees produce in their defense against the beetles. But this one showed nothing. If trees have "nervous systems" as we do that probably got zapped good.  Lots of woodpecker holes became apparent this spring. Must have been some good eating!!   Oh well, only one tree out of many and it's going to make some fine firewood.
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Don_P

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #52 on: July 31, 2015, 05:54:59 PM »
I can't remember if I showed you the pair of lightning strike trees at the top of the driveway just behind the house when y'all were here. We were on the road when it happened probably 10 or 15 years ago now. From the damage it looked like the main strike travelled down the chestnut oak and hopped over to the red maple partway down. From my days working with a high frequency gluing machine, oak is very conductive, I would have to turn the power down to keep from tripping the breakers. It is a common lightning struck tree here. Anyway, my "hygrometer" on the oak finally broke off this year. The bolt had peeled a ~4' long section loose from the trunk. In rainy or very damp weather that strip would hug the tree, in dry weather the tip of that split would be about 6" off the trunk, it was neat to watch it work back and forth depending on the weather. I've been amazed they survived but they are becoming dangerous, extensive rot in the damaged parts. We'll need to get a climber or a crane in at some point in the not too distant future.

That is interesting on the lack of resin blobs, the epithelial cells under normal circumstances are the last to die, they can still be cranking out resin in the logs months after a tree is disconnected from its' roots. The moisture is higher here but we'll get blue in warm weather with or without beetles in dead sapwood that is above fiber saturation point. Beetles tunneling through the spore covered bark certainly carry it in much faster. That sapstain fungi is a sugar eater, drinking it up from the cell lumens rather than feeding on the cell walls themselves but it is saying the conditions are right for the true decay fungi to move in.

I suspect the steam explosion(s) within the tree cause an embolism in the vascular water column between roots and leaf and the tree has no way of repriming that capillary pump (which is also why it is impossible for sap to "go down" in winter. a tree has no way to re-establish a broken water column)

Offline rick91351

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #53 on: August 01, 2015, 02:45:50 AM »

That is interesting on the lack of resin blobs, the epithelial cells under normal circumstances are the last to die, they can still be cranking out resin in the logs months after a tree is disconnected from its' roots. The moisture is higher here but we'll get blue in warm weather with or without beetles in dead sapwood that is above fiber saturation point. Beetles tunneling through the spore covered bark certainly carry it in much faster. That sapstain fungi is a sugar eater, drinking it up from the cell lumens rather than feeding on the cell walls themselves but it is saying the conditions are right for the true decay fungi to move in.

I suspect the steam explosion(s) within the tree cause an embolism in the vascular water column between roots and leaf and the tree has no way of repriming that capillary pump (which is also why it is impossible for sap to "go down" in winter. a tree has no way to re-establish a broken water column)

Once again both Dons you have great insight.  Here in the pine forests what little logging we have left it is all locked up due to environmental reasons.  There is always great urgency to move pine logs to the mills and get water on them in the summer time.  This of course prevents the blue stain or the growth of the fungus that causes bluing.

We here in my location - our beetle kill you often do not see a lot of weeping associated with such.  MD does also offer something I have also noted the infamous woodpeckers working these trees in the spring and early summer.  If you on walk about hear them working a pine like that.  Usually what happens as soon as it starts turning hot, seems like almost over night that tree will turn almost red.  No slow lingering death where they slowly kill the top and work down or anything like that.  No globs of pitch just red death.....

I try and get them down ASAP and to the wood pile and split however when I do in most cases the log will be already blue......  In fact there is one above the house that is calling right now....

I do have a young friend up here that has a nice portable circle saw mill and has found market nitch for blued pine.  I have traded him some pretty good saw logs.       
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #54 on: August 01, 2015, 03:02:35 PM »
I counted 102 rings today; 2 feet above ground @ 16" diameter.  That's a NM tree for you.
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Offline Don_P

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #55 on: August 01, 2015, 04:45:23 PM »
I think we compared ring counts one time, that would probably be a 40 to at most 80 year old white pine here. We do have some slowpokes though, a virginia pine is much tighter ringed and the table mountain pines are probably our slowest. That one is in serious decline since we have largely eliminated fire from the forest and it requires fire to seed. The longleaf pine down in the coastal plain needed fire to eliminate competition so it is also in serious decline. Not that I'm a fan of wildfire but it is a shame to see that tree in reduced numbers, it is really the primary source of the old heart pine timber and is the strongest of the yellow pines. The loblolly that make up the majority of southern pine nowadays isn't even listed in my oldest strength tables, it was considered kind of an inferior yellow pine, also known as oldfield pine because it would come back in old used up and abandoned plantation fields. Wandering further afield, one of my shirttail ancestors was called the father of modern soil science back around the time of the Civil War when he reclaimed an old plantation by applying marl, lime, to the fields. He called the plantation Marlbourne and it was a showplace of what could be done to improve and retain the soil in it's day. Unfortunately he held some political views I have serious difficulty with but it was a different time. I've planted some of the same land to loblolly that he walked I'm sure, the effects of the old bad farming practices are obvious to this day in spent soil and heavy erosion.

There is always great urgency to move pine logs to the mills and get water on them in the summer time.  This of course prevents the blue stain or the growth of the fungus that causes bluing.   

That is one good way of preventing sapstain in logs when it gets warm. The fungi requires temperature, oxygen, food, and moisture. Deny it any of these and it will not grow. A film of water on the logs will deny it oxygen, the same as ponding did in the old days. In the winter it does not grow, one reason I try not to mind building or logging and sawing in cold weather. Logging and sawing in the winter will usually yield bright wood. If you can work fast, or cold, and get the wood dry, below about 20-25% it cannot grow. Or you can poison the food, there are several sapstain preventative chemicals, diesel was one bad old way.

When I'm sawing, if the blade passes through the bark and then across the face of a board I've just spread the spores across that face, it is much more likely to blue. The beetle is doing the same thing. Once I've squared up and removed the bark the remaining boards off the cant are less likely to blue.

Some years ago I found some micrographs on SUNY's website of bluestain within the cells, pretty cool pics. The hyphae of the fungus will often push through the pits that link the cells but their tips also contain an enzyme that lets them bore right through the cell walls and into the adjoining cells. They often travel through the rays in the wood as well, travelling towards the heart from the bark and then branch out from there, giving a kind of starburst look to a fresh cut end. I managed to accidentally create a stack of denim pine upstairs in the barn. I stickered it up there without sufficient airflow and the pile molded, more twards where another stack was blocking the far side and especially as it got closer to the floor. I usually air dry it under cover first and then restack it up there to finish in the higher heat. I got lazy and tried to skip a step  d*.

Our beetle in the eastern white pines is the black turpentine beetle, BTB, it tends to hit hardest from eye level down but I've seen them anywhere in the tree. Usually there are telltale blobs of resin on the bark with them. They seem to smell their way around cause they show up quick when I'm sawing but I also think they can see a weak tree.  Do you notice the woodpeckers tap a bit then turn their head as if listening to the bugs in the wood, and then tap again?

Sorry Don, I think I just took us waaay off thread  ;D
« Last Edit: August 01, 2015, 04:59:19 PM by Don_P »

Offline rick91351

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #56 on: August 01, 2015, 05:28:07 PM »
Very interesting birds - woodpeckers.  You would think they would not hear a sound with all the noise they make but they do indeed listen and listen then go back after whatever.

We have bores that will of course invade the weak pines that you actually hear them crunch - crunch - crunch. One night camped or rolled my sleeping bag out near one of those places and it was an on going chorus all night.  Dang things must sleep all day.  Then I though why not.  Less predators at night.....  BTW you will see the sass or powdered wood one the ground below their borrows.....

Dad got a job at a saw mill.  They had a dip trough, he spent a couple months so he claimed putting boards on a chain that carried them through a anti fungal solution.  Hard telling what it was.....  It was all gone when I was around there. 

I counted 102 rings today; 2 feet above ground @ 16" diameter.  That's a NM tree for you.

WOW you are definitely not the the pine forests of Georgia and the Carolina's nor the Washington and Oregon plantations.....  You most likely would have three or four cutting in 102  rings......   ;)     
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #57 on: August 01, 2015, 06:38:25 PM »

WOW you are definitely not the the pine forests of Georgia and the Carolina's nor the Washington and Oregon plantations..... 

It's one reason I do quite fine with a 16" bar.    ;D   

I have one more already thoroughly dead and dry ponderosa about this same size that I'm leaving standing for the birds or whatever. It's far enough away from any normal activity, far away from buildings, etc, but close enough to a bunch of other trees that it is pretty much guaranteed to hang up.

thread drift? .....  what's that?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline OlJarhead

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #58 on: August 02, 2015, 05:43:50 AM »
Pine beetles can be a problem here also and I was told to thin the trees to 15' minimum between trees as the beetles don't travel far from tree to tree. 

I need to look into some lightening protection on my system too.  I have one protector that never got installed (didn't have a shunt at the time but do now) and not enough grounding (lot of rocks here so it's a bear to get them in the ground).

I'll have to cross fingers for a little longer  d*

Offline Dave Sparks

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #59 on: August 24, 2015, 06:12:59 AM »
It's one reason I do quite fine with a 16" bar.    ;D   

I have one more already thoroughly dead and dry ponderosa about this same size that I'm leaving standing for the birds or whatever. It's far enough away from any normal activity, far away from buildings, etc, but close enough to a bunch of other trees that it is pretty much guaranteed to hang up.

thread drift? .....  what's that?

Hey Don, so let us thread drift back.  I have client from years ago that we built an attached to the house battery box like yours. Back then he was using AGM batteries and we cooled the batteries with a lower and upper 3" fan that brought conditioned air from the house in to cool the bank. It is often 100F there.  Now he wants to go back to flooded batteries and I am trying to think of a way to keep it safe. I know there are gas alarms but I am thinking more of pulling air in from the house and very slowly blowing to to the outdoors. EQ would always be done with the battery box open. The electronics (inverter/controllers) are in a separate box nearby that pulls in house air at the bottom and expels the warm air (top) outside.  I know your issue is with the cold of winter but I would like your thoughts.

The Ponderosa are being decimated in the southern Sierra from the drought and the Beetles. The valley below us is dropping 2 inches per month from groundwater pumping and we are building hi speed rail. Fish that no one can eat are safe though.  Only in California.......
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #60 on: August 24, 2015, 06:58:19 AM »
We have never had any problems with keeping the batteries cool.  ;)  Even when are days hit 90 for brief periods the nights are cooler and longer. I built our battery box / compartment kind of loose. It has bottom vents inlet via the slight spacing between the planks that make up the floor. Plus the slightly loose fit of the doors helps vent. There is exit venting at the ends of the highest point of the roof. No fans. As you know my large concern was winter cold. We only use it a few weekends throughout the winter and the batteries don't see enough discharge and charge action most of the time to make insulating it worthwhile, in my estimation. So I figured sort of loose would help with venting. I made up for cold weather reduced temperature with extra battery capacity. So far, so good.

Yes, I equalize with the doors open. That works well. And our electronics are separated from the batteries.

 I ran a borrowed hydrogen sniffer for a summer and it never recorded more than 1%. (Explosive range is 4 to 75%) Good to have friends and family at LANL.  ;D  Lots of cool government funded equipment.

The idea of slowly blowing / moving cool air from inside to the battery box has merit I think. If the box was sealed better than mine that should push the circulation from bottom to an upper exit. In one end at bottom and out the other at the top.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Dave Sparks

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #61 on: August 24, 2015, 08:54:12 AM »


The idea of slowly blowing / moving cool air from inside to the battery box has merit I think. If the box was sealed better than mine that should push the circulation from bottom to an upper exit. In one end at bottom and out the other at the top.

The XW equipment I use, both the controllers and inverter / charger are convection cooled with filtered inlets at the bottom and fan assisted output at the top of the equipment. That makes it easy but I still want to make sure on the battery that I am exhausting enough but not too much. Maybe a sniffer built-in would be the ticket. I f I can keep the batteries at 80F instead of 100F it will really help them last 10 years. I suppose the safest way would be to just replace batteries at 5 years when the heat kills them. The heat always wins in the battery game.
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Offline DaveOrr

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Re: Lightning Strike(s) and Damage
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2015, 02:53:02 PM »
Don
After reading this article about a strike near Ottawa yesterday I think you were pretty lucky!!

http://www.star96.ca/Star96-LocalNews/blogentry.aspx?BlogEntryID=10690956

Quote
Petawawa Fire Fighters fought several blazes yesterday after a massive lightning strike behind two homes on Blue Jay Way in Petawawa.

According to Petawawa Deputy Fire Chief, Chico Traclet, at 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday the lightning strike hit a jack pine sending splintered wood in a 200 feet radius in the backyard of the two homes. The energy of the lighting strike ignited a natural gas meter at one home and hit a garage at the 2nd home. The strike also hit an underground tracer wire along a gas line and ruptured a 4 inch line in front of the two homes.

One home completely burned to the ground while the second home suffered damage to the roof of their home and their garage burned to the ground.

No one suffered any injuries and 16 Petawawa Fire Fighters responded to the blaze as well as Garrison Petawawa Fire Fighters. The Garrison also provided their ariel truck to combat the flames. Crews were on scene monitoring the situation until 6:30 this morning.
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