Please stay safe, alert, and prepared as North Carolina experiences severe weather.
Although trees may not have any immediate and visible signs of damage, harm can occur in sizable forms; some of these include splitting of bark, cracking of wood directly underneath the lightning path, steam explosions from water underneath the bark, and a radiating shock wave that can create permanent leaf wilting leading to eventual twig death.
Lightning strikes in trees create a destabilized environment in which insects thrive on. Boring insects, in particular, cause major havoc on damaged trees and should not be ignored. Boring insects are typically secondary pests, meaning, the insects wait for a tree to become weakened before attacking. To combat against boring insects calls for preventative bore sprays applied before the lightning strikes.
Although we as humans can take cover from severe weather including lightning, our trees cannot. Keep an eye out for lightening damaged trees; if your tree has been struck, continue to periodically check for decay and dead roots.