PICTURES: Lightning Splits Tree in Half

March 6, 2014 14:30 pm · 32 comments




As we first reported on Wednesday night, lightning hit a tree in Martinez.

Now, today, we have pictures of that unfortunate tree, which was split in half.

Thanks to Cheryll for the pictures.

Cheryll tells us where the lightning strike occurred….

Yep! It hit a tree in almost my backyard! The sound shot me straight up in the air and it sounded like something hit the house. I ran outside but it was quietly raining and nothing seemed out of whack.

Then this morning I looked in my back yard and saw the neighbors tree had been essentially split down the middle!

The location is in an unincorporated area of Martinez called Mt. View neighborhood, on the corner of Vine Ave and Leslie Ave.

The redwoods in this neighborhood were planted as an elementary school project back in the 1950’s. A school teacher from nearby Mt. View Elementary school sent children home with little saplings to plant in their yards.

Thanks again for the great pictures & the information!

jtkatec March 6, 2014 at 2:33 PM

Poor Tree! We should outlaw lightning. What good does lightning do? None

jtkatec March 6, 2014 at 2:34 PM

Now some busy-body neighbor is going to insist that tree be taken out because it’s a hazard. Stupid lightning.

Anon2you March 6, 2014 at 2:43 PM

Very impressive! Just when you think we are in “charge” nature sends a reminder of it’s awesome power!

A good arborist March 6, 2014 at 2:45 PM

can get up there and strap the tree back together with metal bands about every 4 to 6 feet. He’ll probably top off about 20 feet.

Wow March 6, 2014 at 2:57 PM

That is AMAZING. Thanks for sharing the pics!

just a concordian March 6, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Use plastic bags to tie the tree together. Let’s show them that plastic IS good for the environment.

Cheryll March 6, 2014 at 3:09 PM

Yes, thankfully that part of the tree is really high up and not much of this monster tree, so if they need to top it, it won’t actually be removing that much from the tree. I hate to see these beauties with cropped flat tops but this tree is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood, and it has a buddy branch that might hide some of the cropping.

Mustang Sally March 6, 2014 at 3:13 PM

OUCH !! Maybe an arborist could help. Poor tree.

M Kearns March 6, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Explains the weird sound it made, I’m about 2 blocks away, that was something, thunder with extra sound effects. Nature. Powerful. Stuff.

Almost peed my pants March 6, 2014 at 4:53 PM

Thanks Cheryl!
I KNEW that sucka was CLOSE! Castro @ Bertola.

Wow March 6, 2014 at 5:01 PM

Natures log splitter!!! Man. That is something. Thanks for sharing. Glad it was not a roof top, dang…

Michelle March 6, 2014 at 5:45 PM

Nature at its best 🙂

justice March 6, 2014 at 6:02 PM

wow awesome

Amy March 6, 2014 at 6:22 PM


CatWoman March 6, 2014 at 6:33 PM

That looks like an old tree, so glad it didn’t hit any of the younglings beneath.

Clayanon March 6, 2014 at 7:05 PM

Now they have two trees for the price of one.

well March 6, 2014 at 7:25 PM

I did pee my pants. I thought the refinery blew up. It did not sound like ordinary thunder. And our house was hit in new Orleans once.

Dorothy March 6, 2014 at 7:33 PM

Hope the tree can be saved. Good pictures, thanks.

Cat Wrangler March 6, 2014 at 7:40 PM

A picture is worth a thousand words. I have 3 – Wow! Incredible! Amazing!

Atticus Thraxx March 6, 2014 at 9:20 PM

Dang.Nature be scary.

Dr. Jellyfinger® March 6, 2014 at 10:06 PM

Lightning? Piffle! it’s CLIMATE CHANGE that done it! All our pine forests await the same fate!

Laura Zah March 6, 2014 at 10:08 PM

I hope it survives & continues to grow like that. It will become a neighborhood landmark.

freckles March 6, 2014 at 11:02 PM

@ #17

Yeah – We are at Pacheco Blvd and Delacy Ave.
My husband swore the refinery had blown up.
He said in his 57 years of life he has NEVER heard anything like it.

Side note: and he is hard of hearing…

Larrabee March 6, 2014 at 11:20 PM

Krazy glue for wood and leather.

Cowellian March 7, 2014 at 7:17 AM


Dr. Jellyfinger® March 7, 2014 at 9:14 AM

Cowellian, don’t be ridiculous. Where are we going to find rubber tubing large enough to make that a slingshot? Even if we did what are we going to do, fire bowling balls at Benicia? That would be uncalled for… unless…… Benicia is already working on a enormous slingshot of their own to fire bowling balls at Martinez! Maybe we’d better build the slingshot just in case. Actually we had better build a couple, if those Benicians start up with us we don’t want to be outgunned. Maybe we’d better send a few folks over there to look around, pretend to be shopping for antiques…. ask about a slingshot. Damnit Cowellian look what you’ve started!

Cowellian March 7, 2014 at 11:04 AM

I just assumed we could get rubber tubes and stuff from a medical supply company. The site could be used for a Claycord deportation center. They wouldn’t need to get all the way to Benicia.




Another problem solved.

chalkboy8 March 7, 2014 at 2:19 PM

let’s all sing the Thunder Buddies song from the movie Ted.

chalkboy8 March 7, 2014 at 3:29 PM

That was a good night to adjust your rooftop tv antenna with a golf club.

sausage guy March 8, 2014 at 7:11 AM

Lucky Me……Lighting stricks Huge pine tree, ten – fifteen feet above ground ,continues through large roots inches under ground and makes contact with cabin kitchen sink drain pipe, then travels through drain pipe into kitchen , jumps from sink to metal toaster on counter near sink, follows through toaster and electrical cord to wall socket , “KA-BOOM” All Over ….. No toast for breakfast , Replaced outlet and cover .

Cowellian March 8, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Sausage guy,
I’m glad that you weren’t toast!

Dr.McCoy March 8, 2014 at 8:08 AM

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