David R. Hershey dh321 at PGSTUMAIL.PG.CC.MD.US
Tue Mar 25 20:32:11 EST 1997

Sounds fishy to me. I doubt if the iron content would be high enough and
it certainly would not form a continuous "wire" as in a lightening rod. 
Also the plant tissue would not be insulated from the iron so I would
expect that the plant would be fried. If it was true then someone should
have a video of a tree being hit by lightening and surviving unharmed.If
such a spectacular video existed, it would certainly be shown on the TV
news and PBS.
David R. Hershey

Snail mail: 6700 Belcrest Road #112, Hyattsville, MD 20782-1340

Adjunct Professor, Biology/Horticulture Dept.
Prince George's Community College, Largo, MD 20772-2199

Email: dh321 at


On 25 Mar 1997 wise at wrote:

> To all,
>         A colleague of mine was in Arizona last week visiting the red cliffs
> at Sedona near Flagstaff.  The local guides stated that Ponderosa pine trees
> which live on the iron-rich red cliffs, avoid being struck by lightening
> because they take up so much iron from the soil that they are electrically
> conductive, thus they act as lightening rods.  Has anyone out there heard of
> this?
> Bob
> Robert R. Wise
> Plant Physiologist and Director, UWO Electron Microscope Facility
> Department of Biology
> University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
> Oshkosh, WI  54901
> (414) 424-3404 tel
> (414) 424-1101 fax
> wise at

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