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Unstable trees resulting from circling roots

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large tipped over tree from wind storm

This is a much larger elm tree tipping over in a 50 to 60 mph wind storm. The cause was a large 5 inch diameter circling root that is hard to see in this photo that circled around the trunk. It was embedded into the trunk and the trunk was about 2 inches smaller in diameter below ground than above ground. The root was not graphed to the trunk. Roots rarely graph to trunks. (photo Brian Kempf, Urban Tree Foundation)