Not necessarily – although the exterior evidence of a lightning strike is often cause for concern. Unless the missing bark is quite extensive, the amount of damage to the root system and the invasion of opportunistic insects (borers) will be the cause for the tree’s decline. The root damage can not be determined, so we advise a “wait and see” attitude for a six month period before spending any money on the tree’s rehabilitation. When drought conditions exist during this waiting period, watering is advisable. If the tree dies within this time frame or the tree appears to be structurally unsound, we would recommend its removal. Removing trees for safety concerns, as well as preventing the spread of damaging insects, would be money well spent.