The broken tree may also represent the natural world as an arbiter of justice.
In the story, both Ulrich and Georg think that the other has received his just punishment after the tree pins them down. Georg exults that Ulrich has been "caught fast" on the land he has "stolen." Meanwhile, Ulrich proclaims that, since he is caught on his own land, he stands to receive help sooner than Georg. He maintains that he will eventually find himself in a better position than Georg, whom he deems the true trespasser.
For his part, Georg returns a spiteful answer, maintaining that his men will arrive first. Then, Georg insists that his men will release him and easily roll the fallen tree trunk over Ulrich. After Ulrich dies, Georg says that he will send condolences to Ulrich's family, for "form's sake." He is determined to fight their quarrel to the "death," insisting that there be no "cursed interlopers" between them.
As can be seen, both men are unrepentant in their hatred and malice. It's clear that neither imagined that they would ever face nature as the ultimate arbiter of justice. In the end, nature intrudes into their quarrel and ends the war between the human interlopers. The broken tree thus represents judgment.