What looked to be a healthy Sweet Gum Tree in my side yard recently blew over during a storm. As I was cutting it up to haul away, I saw a soft core. Starting at about six feet from the ground I saw live termites. The damage grew worse the closer I cut to the ground with the chain saw. Below shows you the root ball and remaining stump that I have not cut up.
Notice the lack of a deep root ball. I suspect that the termite activity was destroying the central deep roots and that is why the tree could not withstand the winds.
I have since completely removed the tree and ground up the stump.