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Trellis as Lightning Rod

damaged tree

The Choke Cherry tree at the bottom of this vineyard row was about thirty-five feet taller the day before this picture was taken. Its top is lying on the ground next to what is left of the tree after taking a direct hit by lightning.

The old maxim, "lightning never strikes twice in the same spot" is one we don't want to test in this vineyard. Less than 100 feet from this tree, and equally close to the vineyard trellis, a larger tree took a less severe hit about 4 years earlier. In the global scheme of things, that is pretty close to being the same spot.

The vineyard trellis is a huge lightning rod. When the trellis takes a hit, one or more wires are disintegrated, and some vines are usually killed. This is damage that is easily repaired. The question is, what would happen to humans and pets in the vicinity of such an event? We have no incidents to report. If you have stories to share, email them and we will expand on this page.

In the meantime, let's not take chances. If lightning is moving into the area, get out of the vineyard just as you would a swimming pool. Allow enough time: the larger the vineyard, the more time you need to clear the trellis area. If you have a choice, move away from the storm: these trees were at the leading edge of the storm as it approached the trellis. And, as for that picturesque gazebo you built in the middle of the vineyard?: Don't even think about using it as a refuge.

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