Celebrating 75 Years Serving The Midlands

Protect Your Giant Trees From Lightning Damage Columbia SC

Majestic oaks and towering pines transform yards into beautiful landscapes – but are also prime targets for lightning strikes! A lightning protection system provides long term defense against these million-volt threats!

Arborists installing lightning protection on big tree

Don’t Let Your Trees Fall Victim To Lightning

Here in South Carolina we are no stranger to summer storms. These storm systems bring with them plenty of lightning strikes – each of which is capable of severely damaging or even killing the largest of our trees! In fact, the vast majority of lightning struck trees will die and a lightning protection system vastly reduces the chances of your trees being harmed by lightning.


What To Expect When Installing Tree Lightning Protection


On-site Consultation

Prior to installing a lightning protection system, your arborist will survey the area, take soil conductivity measurements as needed, and determine where air terminals (conductive spikes at the terminus of the protection) need to be placed to best protect your trees.


Lightning Protection Installation

Your tree’s lightning protection will be hand installed by our certified arborists. Depending on the size of your tree and the design of the lightning protection system we may use tree climbers or one of our bucket trucks or spider lifts to aid in the installation process.

Why Choose Sox & Freeman


Certified Arborists

At Sox & Freeman we aren’t just a few guys with chainsaws – every one of our crews is led by an ISA-certified arborist. This means you get the expertise that can only come from training and experience, and the peace of mind that any lightning protection systems installed will keep your trees safe.


Long-term Relationships

Sox & Freeman has been in business for 75 years and some of our clients have been with us for three generations. Like the trees we work with, we take a long view of the world and prioritize developing long-term relationships over short-term gain.


An Ongoing Commitment to Training

We don’t rest on our laurels and are always training the next generation of arborists. At Sox & Freeman our non-certified crew members are given the time, training, and resources to become certified arborists via our Arborist Development Plan.


Insured For Peace Of Mind

No experienced arborist will say that their profession is without risk – and we’re as experienced as they come. To that end we safeguard both our crews and your property with industry leading insurance and workers compensation plans.


Tree Doctors - We Keep Trees Healthy

We love Columbia for its amazing tree cover and it is always our goal to preserve as many healthy trees as possible. Whether you just want to ensure your trees are growing well or have one you are concerned about, our arborists will help keep your trees healthy.


Learn More About Sox & Freeman.


Trusted By The Midlands for 75 years!

Why should I work with a certified arborist?

At Sox & Freeman our crews always include an ISA-certified arborist. The International Society of Arboriculture sets standards for arboriculture (tree care) and requires training, testing, and continuing education to qualify for and maintain certification.
When you work with a certified arborist you can rest easy knowing that your tree’s lightning protection system will be installed in a manner that won’t harm your tree as it continues to grow, and will offer years of protection.

What does a lightning protection system include?

A lightning protection system consists of air terminals, conductive cabling, mounting hardware, and one or more ground rods. At the top of the tree we mount what is known as an air terminal, a conductive spike that will be struck first by lightning. Larger trees may need multiple air terminals in order to provide protection to the entire crown.

The air terminals are connected to copper conductors which travel the length of the trunk to the ground. At ground level the copper cables attach to ground rods, which are simply buried conductors that provide the lightning with a low resistance path to ground.

In many cases, installing a lightning protection system on the largest tree in an area will provide protection to neighboring trees. Your arborist will be able to tell you which trees will provide the most protection for your yard.

What areas do you service?

We offer professional tree services across the South Carolina Midlands and the surrounding areas, including Blythewood, Cayce, Chapin, Columbia, Irmo, Lexington, and West Columbia.

We are Located at: 3615 Phillips Street, Columbia, SC 29203

Do lightning rods attract lightning?

No, lightning rods do not attract lightning to an area! Instead, they simply provide lightning strikes with a safe, non-destructive route to the ground.

Will lightning kill an unprotected tree?

Certain species of trees are more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than others. Tall tree species like pines, oaks, and poplars are often the most prominent point in the landscape – making them frequent targets of lightning. Species of trees that contain high moisture levels in their wood, like ashes and willows, are also more likely to be struck.

When a tree is struck by lightning it often is killed immediately – as the extremely high heat of the current passing through the wood causes the water within it to flash to a boil and explode.

Even if your tree is not immediately killed by the strike, it will be more susceptible to illness after a strike, and in many cases will be set on a path towards death.

Installing lightning protection for trees is the only way to protect your trees from lightning damage.

Reach Us


3615 Phillips Street,
Columbia, South Carolina 29203

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