Brought to you by Stump with ThenAtlas Analytics & a century of forestry research
Decision analyses are based on patterns of change in forests with the goal:
To create a more meaningful life

Decision Forest Summary

Stump’s life decision:
buying a house or continue to rent

The possible answer:
yes, buy the house

How this changes your forest:
Grows a large tree larger

This change is best for:
Those who want greater efficiency to focus on what is most important

Your current forest:
Redwoods in-transition

This decision is:

Trees typically need to grow to survive, but growing too much might prevent other trees from taking root.
Translation: Make sure this decisions benefits your long-term meaningfulness, because, your schedule will be more full and you will not have time to do other new things anytime soon.


Similar to people, forests are complex and always changing.
Patterns of change in forests can help us make decisions in our own lives.
Understand where you are now:

Your Current Forest

About Your Forest
– This forest is sunny because it is has space for new trees.
– Space may have been created by a fallen tree lost to a past disturbance.
– In other forests, gaps tend to fill quickly by growth of new or surrounding trees – but this forest tends to have unique conditions and establishment of new trees is a slow process – thus this forest may remain un-full for an extended time.
– This leads to reduced competition between existing trees leading to less stress and greater disturbance resistance.
– Despite great potential for robust trajectories, being un-full can resemble suppressed forests (Mountain Spruce) that have restricted growth due to challenging environmental conditions.

Translation: This is a mix of a few deeply meaningful things, like family and a career, with at least some emptiness or yearning for more. Most people would try to fill this emptiness quickly with a new hobby but instead, here we have someone with free time and maybe reduced stress. The challenge is to avoid letting the emptiness grow through lack of action associated with depression.

Your Previous Forest
e. Redwoods in-transition (a couple very important trees with space for new trees)
How You Got Here
Starting new family: Was single, met a guy (the change), now are engaged and living together. Yes it was for the best.
Primary Cause of Change
new successful relationship = Much better
How is Life Now?
Much better
Age Group

This Decision: Grows a large tree larger

How this changes your forest:
Bigger trees have deeper roots which helps build forest resistance to disturbance.

Translation: Devoting more time and energy to things we already find important can maximize those most meaninful aspects of life. It brings more meaning into your life and makes those things more likely to survive a disruption. For example, something terrible happens, its going to be your family and good friends that are there to support you (rather than a co-worker). The challenge is, that it often leads to life being full with no room to try new things or meet new people.

Ideal for:
Those who want greater efficiency to focus on what is most important

Less ideal for:
Those in an unstable environment


Note: this future forest represents the direction your forest may be heading.
Your actual forest change may be much more subtle depending on the magnitude of the decision.

Your Future Forest

About Your Expected Future Forest
– These strong trees have weathered many storms.
– Deep roots provide resistance to disturbance.

– Growth of new trees is restricted due to lack of open space.
– If disturbed, the result can be a catastrophic LARGE gap in the forest.
– Resilience and resourcefulness (disturbance recovery mechanisms) may be poorly developed due in part to lack of small trees.

Translation: This type of life has just a few deeply important things, such as, family, career, and sleep. Through ups and downs these pillars of life will stay strong; except when they don’t… Unfortunatly, disruptions are part of life. These trees are the best to resist being disrupted, but they are not invincible. The other main challenge is that there is no room for doing new things. For example, taking a new class on pottery is fairly impossible without giving up sleep, and sleep is important.

Related Decisions:

What it means to lose a tree..
[gathering more community stories]

Now the decision is:


Comment below if this was helpful!

Here are some additonal directions that may help create an Old Growth forest

[Or maintain your Old Growth]

Becoming an old growth forest is unique for everyone. We are developing more customizable online tools to help with this – until then, feel free to contact us for guidance; AND, try to follow all of the 6 key forest change strategies:

Resistance: Grow big trees bigger for greater resource efficiency and disturbance resistance.
Disruption: Forest disturbances are inevitable, use it as an opportunity to identify the strongest trees.
Resilience: Grow new trees and prevent small trees from being lost for better ability to “bounce back” after a disturbance.
Expansion: Make sure your forest is actually full, but don't overfill
Focus: Full forests often change because the have to (i.e. self-thinning), where-as forests with open space have greater opportunity to stay the same or grow new trees.
Revolution: Figure out how trees can better coexist and support each other; or, let healthy better-adapted trees force out toxic (allelopathic) large trees.

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