WHEN I WAS a kid, all I wanted was a treehouse like the one Macaulay Culkin got to chill out in while filming Home Alone. Of course, my request was denied, but my parent’s could have probably saved themselves a lot of aggrivation if they had just explained to me the science that went into building a treehouse, and why the Japanese Maple in our front yard would not support one.

There’s a reason why so many treehouses these days resemble Ewok villages; a lot of it has to do with mathematical and scientific concepts we all forgot about after passing our last calculus exam. It’s just a few things to consider when dreaming about leaving everything behind, and moving to the forest forever.