Why would a store-bought white pine that was planted and then fell over have a root-free section?
Here’s what likely happened: When the tree arrived at the cottage from a tree nursery, it came with its root ball wrapped in burlap tied with a polypropylene rope. Whoever planted the tree was supposed to remove the rope but didn’t (The burlap too, would usually be removed or left to disintegrate over time.) As the tree grew, that indestructible rope eventually girdled the trunk below ground and restricted root growth. Then, without a solid base as she grew larger, over she went.