It builds up the charge in the ground, and to find equilibrium, it must discharge to the ground a lot.
You can make a purely field ground though, without an actual ground connection. You can get the energy to point straight up.
Tesla has shown us how to make an incredibly ultra high frequency polarized energy, like a whispy type of plasma, and not just discharge it but conduct it. He used a particular style of a Tesla transformer. It would take a lot of capacitors, and a magnet-core transformer to further increase the frequency via "resonance."
The lower video is of the large Tesla tower array in Russia.
There are thousands of thousands of Tesla experimentation videos on youtube.
Here is also a good video of Tesla experimentation in action also showing in some places ELECTROSTATIC CURRENT: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2F8kRvjhTY
Actually, that video link above doesn't cover electrostatic currently specifically, nonetheless Electrostatic Current can be beamed between two points as a visible energy beam which is conductive between the two points. I found a video where that was briefly shown but seem to have misplaced it. Tesla claimed Light is a magneto-electrostatic energy. A laser beam is a simple representative of a magneto-electrostatic current. It is more focused than a electrostatic current of a continuous discharge between two points however, these gentlemen demonstrate electrostatic current in its raw state:
At a much higher frequency, it would be a whispy plasma like those seen in the common "plasma globes."
Also, electrostatic energy at high frequency travels harmlessly over the skin, of a living being, and can be a million volts, but as long as it's very high frequency is totally harmless to the living organism.