OK, so I installed SP4, and tried to replicate the crash. At first, I thought SP4 may have solved the problem, as I was able to push the scene much farther than previously. I turned all Forest objects back to point clouds rather than proxy objects. Moved a lot of plants around, panned in the viewport, zoomed in and out.... all that stuff. Previously, max would crash after only a few operations or fast movements with the viewport. So, I think we have some success. After a few minutes, the scene crashed, and I have new dump files for your review. Perhaps they will reveal something new? Not sure if this is important, but Chrome is sometimes also open which consumes a lot resources. This time it was open, and Windows did display an error/crash notice for Chrome. But I've also experienced the crash many times with all other apps closed, and only running 3ds max.
Thanks for your continued assistance!