One possibility, if it was dead... It is a pretty common occurrence along new trails for upright, but dead, stuff to end up getting pulled down. I think it's riders grabbing on to them to steady themselves, then they fall or pull over, then they just leave them. Sometimes they break off, sometimes they bend, sometimes they break part-way down. I've even seen folks during winter break off saplings that they felt were too close to the trail and caught their bars.
Along here we only made things as wide as needed. If someone blew the corner and went and grabbed an upslope dead tree to hang on to, it could have broken off like this.
Steve VigneauBald Mountain
Trail Coordinator / Addison Oaks
Co-Trail CoordinatorUnless otherwise stated the content of my posts are my opinion and should not be taken as the official stance of, nor representative of, CRAMBA-IMBA.