This tree was “saved” by a storm of public protest, including a neighborhood newspaper and a farm advisor/tree “expert.” Note the damage to the sidewalk where the roots being pulled out of the ground have raised up. What is happening is that smaller roots branching from the anchoring root near the base of the tree (pivot point) are breaking one by one (or more) but those remaining unbroken are still strong enough to keep the entire anchoring root from pulling all the way out—for now. When a few more branching roots break, the inevitable will happen. Damage to property is highly likely, and injury or death to people or animals is a matter of whether or not they are in the wrong place at the right time.
January 30, 2013