Lightning can damage and even destroy trees, and resulting fires can lead to the destruction of forests and homes. If you have a tree with particular historical or sentimental value, or a tree that borders or touches a building, it is a good idea to install a lightning protection system to avoid the risk of destruction or fire. Lightning protection systems employ a copper rod that channels the positive charge of the ground to the air above the tree, where it meets the negative charge of the lightning bolt. The rod then conducts the lightning bolt down its length and into the ground, neutralizing it and preventing it from harming the tree. It is highly recommended that a professional install your lightning protection system, as improperly installed systems can actually increase the risk of lightning strikes.