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Approaches to trees with dynamics - trees falling over?

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Heya folks!


I've to do some r&d for a job where I'll be making some trees fall over into a crack in the ground - earth quake type of effect. I'll have to replace live action trees with CG ones that can fall with the bits of ground that they grow from so I'll have to make them react and bend with the fall. My first thing will be to try a wind force to push the tree over, cache the animation and then play it back as the ground breaks but it'd be great to have some kind of dynamics system built in. Thinking particles definitely does it with skinning but I want to keep the system as easy as possible for juniors to be able to use.


Do you guys have any theories on what might work well for this stuff?





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