Test plots in both the United States and Germany found real differences in the frequency of lightning strikes among types of trees. A possible explanation: trees growing in sandy soil, with a taproot extending into groundwater, such as oak or ash, would be more likely to attract lightning than trees with shallow, horizontal roots. That's also true of tall trees in the open or near the border of woods.)

* Beware of oak; it draws the stroke.

* Avoid an ash; it courts the flash.

* Creep under the hawthorn; it will save you from harm.

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