This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
We are told that " English authorities claim that Fig Trees and Cedars are rarely struck by lightning; the Beech, Larch, Fir and Chestnut are obnoxious to it; but the trees which attract it most are the Oak, Yew and Lombardy Poplar; hence it follows that the last named are the trees most pi-oper to be placed near a building, since they will act as so many lightning conductors to it. Again, the electric fluid attacks in preference such trees as are verging to decay by reason of age or disease".
No one has yet responded to our inquiry for a Beech stricken, but we will say, in regard to the above paragraph, that a Walnut is not so very far removed from a Chestnut, and on the grounds of Miss Fox, near Germantown, they are so often " struck " as to create the impression that they are favorably disposed to receive the electric fluid. As to the "Fir," if by this the English authorities mean, as perhaps they do, the Norway Spruce, the writer of this was within twenty feet of the trunk of one once that had its bark peeled off by a stroke. We should not put much faith in the shelter of any tree during a thunder storm.