What may have caused a pine tree to half-topple over and then return to standing upright?
A pine tree would likely have toppled because of sustained rain and high winds. The soil around root systems loosens when heavily saturated, and the tree’s year-round foliage catches the wind and makes it more susceptible to tipping. If a significant portion of a pine’s root system penetrates a deep seam in a rock containing a vein of soil, the tree would only partly topple and remain healthy. For the pine to be upright again, winds would have to push it back into place. The bad news is that if a tree fell once, it will likely fall again. The safest thing to do may be to cut it down. (See Cottage Life’s How to cut down a tree.)