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A forest has a natural wall of bushes, small trees and other undergrowth as a barrier for wind. Sometimes this barrier is damaged (mostly by humans) and the forests suffer.
The Foret buffer effect that you mention is secondary to the canopy effect which has a natural forest (one that has not been thinned as is the case here) self-supporting by having the overlapping canopy of each tree interacting (colliding) with those around, thus reducing the force applied to an individual tree and therefore reducing the likelihood of blow down.
...in rain saturated ground.
I would have thought so but apparently they didn't.