It seems that the "spring cleaving" of trees was not motivated by preventing
trees from splitting rocks or falling on passersby, but by road works.
Indeed, it seems that our favourite path for walking in the Massif des Maures with a view of the sea is going to be turned into a road. A pity, since one cannot walk along any of the narrow roads in the hills without running the risk of being run over by a car.
Steel monsters are slicing through the hill side. Impressive, yet sad.