Brought to you by Ava and 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

Ava’s life decision:
When to start a family

The possible answer:
start soon

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:
Mountain Spruce

This decision is:

Not just any new tree will work, but with the right one, your forest can move towards being full.


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 exists in conditions that are difficult for life to survive.
– This forest has the challenges of a full forest without being full.
– Existing trees are stressed, growth is restricted.
– Recovery from disturbance may be slow due to slow growing conditions.
– In other forests, gaps tend to fill quickly by growth of new or surrounding trees – but this forest tends to have conditions that deter establishment of new trees – thus this forest may remain un-full for an extended time.
– Due to the difficult conditions, just maintaining this forest may be intensive.

Translation: For some of us, life is incredibly difficult. Depression and severe anxiety are common factors that may allow for deep introspection and planning but tend to make action seem impossible.

Your Previous Forest
i. Old Growth (Diverse tree sizes from incredibly important through new and full of potential – Trees are well adapted and supportive of each other)
How You Got Here
COVID19: Went from normal life activities to being at home, unable to see friends/family or go to work.
Primary Cause of Change
COVID19 pandemic = Both better and worse
How is Life Now?
Both better and worse
Age Group

This Decision: Grows a large tree larger

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

Translation: Devoting more time and energy to things we already find important can maximize those most meaningful aspects of life. It brings more meaning into your life and makes those things more likely to survive a disruption. For example, if 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 leaves 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
– 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.

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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