University of California
Western Tree Failure Database/California Tree Failure Report Program
9/17/89 redwood hit by lightning
Photo: M. Mahoney
Lightning rarely strikes the north and central coast of California, but on September 19, 1989 in a strong electrical storm where 2.17 inches of rain fell on the city of Healdsburg (which also was unusual for that time of year) lightning struck a 65 ft tall redwood. According to The Healdsburg Tribune, lightning split the tree all the way down to its roots.The lightning was so powerful it blew out a retaining wall under the tree and spread debris all over the street.