this tree was most likely mistakenly cut due to infantile marking of the mando. that is the kind of stuff that happens when you let a 'golf official' play with orange spray paint in the park. our club has the funds to purchase and install highly visible "mando" signage to prevent this type of accident in the future.
So you're saying that you're inclined to give the benefit of the doubt to whomever cut this and assume they saw orange paint or an orange ribbon on the tree and thought it was marked for removal? Or at least you are proposing this as a distinct possibility? And then after cutting so far into the tree someone stopped them or they thought better of it and stopped? Then when just the right wind came up days, weeks or months after this cut was made the tree gave up and toppled?
Is that what you are suggesting?
With the cut five feet up and the fact that it was a clean cut with a chainsaw and the fact that it toppled while others were around and no chainsaw cutting was noticed immediately prior I'd say any number of possibilities are available. But Jamie's scenario is certainly plausible.