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Minecraft Tree.png

Anywhere in the Overworld where light and dirt are present.

Consists of
Can generate


First appearance


Trees are generated structures of wood and leaf blocks. There are six "base" species of trees – oak, birch, spruce, jungle, acacia and dark oak trees.

Appearance[edit | edit source]

The trees found in Minecraft

Trees vary widely in height, from a bare minimum of 1 block for bush trees, ranging up to a maximum of 30 blocks for giant jungle trees.

Tree canopies are composed of leaf blocks, and grows 1 block higher than the highest wood block (This does not apply to the giant oak tree, as the leaves grow 3 blocks higher). The canopy may begin from the ground and go up to 6 blocks from the ground. Tree canopies are generated from roughly spherical clusters of leaves about 5–7 blocks across, centered on sections of trunk or branches. Leaves must be supported by an adjacent trunk (or leaf blocks connected to the trunk), otherwise they will wither and disappear.

Giant oak, dark oak and giant jungle trees grow branches (wood blocks connected horizontally, vertically or diagonally to the trunk or other branches). Most of the time, a single tree will have between one and six branches, and each branch will have between one and six wood blocks. Acacia tree branches do not cover their branches in this way. Small oak and jungle trees, along with any birch and spruce trees, lack branches.

Growth and characteristics[edit | edit source]

See also: Tutorials/Tree Farming
Trees can be generated anywhere where there is light and dirt

Trees are created when a map chunk is generated. They can also be grown by planting tree saplings.

Tree saplings have a 1/20 chance (1/40 if they are jungle saplings) of dropping from leaf blocks when they are destroyed or decay. Some players harvest wood from high-efficiency tree farms. There are six species of saplings, corresponding to the six main trees: oak, birch, spruce, jungle, acacia and dark oak.

A tree that was grown in a cave, with the necessary light provided by torches

The sapling must be planted on a dirt, podzol or grass block, and must have a light level of at least 8 in the sapling block. A sapling will uproot with light level 7 or less in the sapling block itself unless it has a view of the sky that is fully unobstructed (except by glass or other fully transparent materials). The sapling must also have at least 4 blocks of space above it; see the individual sections below for space requirements, as they vary between the different types of trees. If there is a ceiling above a sapling, this will limit the maximum height of the tree that can grow from that sapling.

A tree that grew through a bridge

All trees in the active chunk radius around the player make attempts to grow at random intervals. For any given tree this can work out to about 3 attempts per minute, but a tree will usually not grow until nearly 30 minutes have elapsed since planting. When the tree attempts to grow it first checks that it has enough light, then chooses which variation of tree to spawn. For oak trees, it will choose either small or large; for spruce trees, it will choose either short, tall, or very tall. Birch trees only have one growable type, possibly hinting why they grow so fast.

Now that the tree has passed a light check and chosen a size to attempt, it checks if there is space to grow into what it has already (randomly) chosen to become. If it encounters an obstruction during this check, it fails to grow and must wait for the next pass before it can attempt to grow again. This means that a tree in an open field with enough light will grow quite quickly (usually right around the 30 minute mark), but a tree in a tree farm that stunts its size may make several attempts before finally growing.

Bone meal has a chance of making the tree to grow if right clicked as long as all of the normal checks are in place (i.e., light, space, dirt, etc.). It does not guarantee a tree will grow, but forces it to attempt to grow. The tree must still pass the space check for its randomly chosen type before it grows. This is important to remember when limiting tree height, as the tree may attempt to grow a tall variant and fail even when all other requirements are met.

Planting trees in the Nether

All saplings will grow normally in the Nether and in the End, although they must be planted in dirt transported from the Overworld and provided with sufficient light and space. Leaf blocks in the Nether have the same color as if they were placed in a desert biome. In the End, they are a dull bluish-green, similar to Extreme Hills.

This tree will not grow because of the red wool block (looking from the northwestern corner)

In order to grow a 2×2 tree (be it spruce, jungle or dark oak), four saplings must be placed adjacent to each other in a square. For growth to succeed, there may be no blocks adjacent (even diagonally) to the north-western sapling (which is considered the center of the tree) up to the final height of the tree. Which sapling the Bone Meal is used on is irrelevant. The largest jungle and spruce trees reach 31 blocks. Dark oak trees are typically 6-8 blocks. Some materials block the growth of the large trees.

If saplings are planted next to each other, each one will grow as long as the leaves from the other grown saplings don't obfuscate too much of the sunlight. Artificial light can still be used to grow them if this happens.

See each species for individual growing space requirements.

Species[edit | edit source]

Oak trees[edit | edit source]

Oak trees

Oak trees are unique in that they have the smallest space requirements, and along with dark oak trees can drop an apple when their leaf block is destroyed.

They come in several variants with widely different properties:

  1. Small oak trees are the most commonly encountered.
  2. Large oak trees are more uncommon, and have a distinct look and different growth requirements. They often have "branches", outgrowths of wood on the sides of the trunk, or even freestanding and surrounded by leaves. They require 4–14 blocks of open space directly above the sapling to grow (air or leaves only) but can otherwise be completely enclosed on all sides.
    Large oaks with leaves removed
    • A large tree form exists with a single leaf block layer above the minimal 4-block trunk, allowing a tree to rarely grow in a vertical space with a height of only 5, but otherwise the maximum trunk height is 2 less than the vertical space, making the practical minimum height 6.
    • A large tree can be forced to be grown if a "brace" of non-solid blocks (e.g. glass, or half-slabs) is placed around where the trunk will be, one block off the ground.
    • A balloon oak tree
      Balloon oaks are a rare tree that can also grow, being large trees spawned with the smallest size possible. They consist of tall trunks and leaves that formed the shape of a "ball". They will grow even if there is a block obstructing them; they simply grow around that block. They usually contain 4 blocks of wood, but some may contain more.
  3. In swamp biomes, naturally occurring oak trees tend to grow in the water. Unlike oak trees in other biomes, which typically have a slightly conical or pointed canopy, all swamp trees have round, flat topped canopies, and may have vines hanging down. Read more about this tree in the ungrowable trees section.

Oak trees require a 1×1 column of unobstructed space at least 4 blocks above the sapling to grow (5 blocks including the sapling itself). Oak trees are unique in that they can still grow when the base and trunk is enclosed on all sides. Their growth will not be hindered by wood, leaves, dirt and saplings.

Spruce trees[edit | edit source]

Spruce trees
Mega spruce trees

Spruce trees,[1][2] also known as pine trees,[3] grow from spruce saplings and have growth patterns and requirements very similar to birch trees, though they look very different. They are mainly found in the taiga biome, but they may also generate in extreme hills, cold taiga, and mega taiga biomes. Spruce wood has the same texture as oak wood, but it is a darker shade of brown; its leaves are more dense, with a darker and blueish tone.

There are two different forms of these trees that may grow from any spruce saplings:

  1. A regular variant with a height similar to oak trees.[4]
    • The leaves tend to grow in discrete rows rather than the more "spherical" arrangement of oaks and birch trees
  2. A large 2×2 variant that generates in the Mega Taiga biome and can be grown from spruce saplings arranged in a 2×2 square, with or without bone meal. They are commonly called "Redwoods" or "Mega Spruce Trees".
    • These spruce trees have few leaves, concentrated at the top. Mega spruce trees with leaves only at the top can be found in every type of Mega Taiga except for the Mega Spruce Taiga, which has trees that have a lot of leaves on them.
    • The northwest block of the top layer of the 2×2 mega spruce tree trunk is always taller than the other three blocks.

In an amplified Taiga or Mega Taiga, some of the spruce trees will spawn with snow on them, just like in the other cold biomes.

Like birch trees, they do not grow branches. When height-constrained, the trunk height maximum is two less than the roof. Headroom of 9 blocks will limit the tree to trunk height of 7, which enables harvesting from ground level.

1×1 spruce trees require a 5×5 column of unobstructed space at least 7 blocks above the sapling to grow (8 blocks including the sapling itself). No horizontal clearance is needed at the base of the tree and 1 level above (a sapling planted in a hole 2 blocks deep will still grow).

2×2 spruce trees require a 5×5 column of unobstructed space at least 14 blocks above the saplings to grow (15 blocks including the saplings themselves). This column is centered on the northwestern sapling. A 3×3 area is required at the base of the tree (the level of the saplings).

Birch trees[edit | edit source]

A birch tree

Birch trees look fairly similar to small oak trees in terms of height, and are most commonly found in birch forest biomes.

There are two types of birch trees: a shorter tree that can be grown by the player with birch saplings; and a taller, more rare tree which only generate in birch forest M biomes, and cannot be grown from saplings. Birch trees grown from saplings grow to be five, six, or seven blocks tall. Birch trees always have leaves at least 2 blocks above the ground unless it was grown on a slope; the leaves on one side will have two blocks between the ground and leaves, while the other may have a gap of one block - steep slopes or cliffs may leave no space under the leaves.

Birch trees require a 3×3 column of unobstructed space at least 6 blocks above the sapling to grow (7 blocks including the sapling itself). Additionally, birch trees require 5×5 layers without obstruction for the top 3 layers of its final height. No horizontal clearance is needed at the base of the tree (a sapling planted in a hole 1 block deep will still grow).

Birch leaf distribution

Top row

2nd row

3rd and 4th rows

Birch trees will always grow around 50 to 60 leaves. The leaf distributions are shown visually to the right, each table cell representing one 'slice' of the tree viewed from above. The glass blocks represent a barrier, while the cyan flowers represent areas where leaves may grow, but do not always. The growth pattern, in detail, is as follows:

  • The topmost row is one above the height of the tree, and always has exactly 5 leaves: one above the wood block and four orthogonally adjacent to it, forming a + shape.
    • 5 leaves
  • The second row is the top of the wood trunk, and also has 4 leaves adjacent to it. Diagonal to the wood block will be a minimum of 1 and a maximum of 3 additional leaf blocks.
    • 5 - 7 leaves
  • The third row has the wood in the middle, surrounded orthogonally and diagonally by leaf blocks. Those 8 leaf blocks are also surrounded orthogonally, for an additional 12 leaf blocks. One can think of this as a 5×5 space where every block has leaves except the four corners. These corners are randomly filled with between 0 and 4 leaves, though having all four filled is very rare.
    • 20 - 24 leaves
  • The fourth row generates with the same rules as the third, and thus has a minimum of 20 and a maximum of 24 leaf blocks.
    • 20 - 24 leaves
  • The fifth and sixth (bottom) rows contain no leaves, only the wood block in the center. If the tree is 6 or 7 blocks tall, the additional 1 or 2 rows at the bottom will also be just a wood block.
    • No leaves

Small oak and 1x1 jungle trees also have this arrangement of leaves.

Jungle trees[edit | edit source]

Jungle trees

Jungle trees are exclusive to the jungle biome and have a unique growth system. Jungle tree leaves drop jungle tree saplings, which appear tall and skinny like the jungle tree itself. When planted in grass or dirt they grow into a jungle tree with a 1×1 trunk, but you can place them in a 2×2 formation and they will grow into a jungle tree with a 2×2 trunk that are found naturally in the jungle biome.

1×1 jungle trees require a 3×3 column of unobstructed space at least 5 blocks above the sapling to grow (6 blocks including the sapling itself). Additionally, 1×1 jungle trees require 5×5 layers without obstruction for the top 3 layers of its final height. No horizontal clearance is needed at the base of the tree (a sapling planted in a hole 1 block deep will still grow).

2×2 jungle trees require a 5×5 column of unobstructed space at least 11 blocks above the saplings to grow (12 blocks including the saplings themselves). This column is centered on the northwestern sapling. A 3×3 area is required at the base of the tree (the level of the saplings).

Acacia trees[edit | edit source]

Acacia trees

Acacia trees are only found in the savanna biome. Acacia trees are around 8 blocks tall and feature unique diagonal trunks, and may occasionally have multiple canopies. The way the tree forms is unique. Some have many straight logs and a curve at the top, some at the bottom, and some curve from bottom to top. Typically, the canopy consists of just two layers of leaves, sometimes three. The acacia leaves share their texture with oak leaves, although they have their own name in creative mode. Their color, however, varies on what biome you are in. You can grow the following three acacia trees:

  1. The common acacia tree, which has a diagonal trunk and a single canopy.
  2. The multi-canopy acacia, where the trunk forks around the middle of the plant and each end ends in a canopy.
  3. Another form of multiple canopy acacia tree, which has the straight trunk and a lower canopy, then the trunk grows out of the smaller canopy and has a second higher canopy. These trees are much taller than the common acacia tree.

Acacia trees require a 3×3 column of unobstructed space at least 7 blocks above the sapling (8 blocks including the sapling itself). Additionally, acacia trees require 5×5 layers without obstruction for the top 3 layers of its final height. No horizontal clearance is needed at the base of the tree (a sapling planted in a hole 1 block deep will still grow).

Dark oak trees[edit | edit source]

A dark oak tree

Dark oak trees are found only in the roofed forest biome. They have thick, 2×2 trunks, and will spawn dirt blocks under their trunk if generated on a steep cliff. Dark oak trees nearly always generate with irregular blocks of wood connected to the trunk - these represent large branches. Growing these trees requires four dark oak saplings arranged in a 2×2 grid; they will not grow if planted individually. Dark oak trees grow at a much faster rate than most other trees.

Dark oak trees require a 3×3 column of unobstructed space at least 7 blocks above the sapling to grow (8 blocks including the sapling itself). This column is centered on the northwestern sapling. Additionally, dark oak trees require 5×5 layers without obstruction for the top 3 layers of its final height. No horizontal clearance is needed at the base of the tree (saplings planted in a 2×2 hole 1 block deep will still grow).

Dying trees[edit | edit source]

The different dying tree types.

A Pocket Edition exclusive tree. They have the standard growth pattern of any other tree, however all exposed logs are covered with vines. They can spawn as dark oak, jungle, spruce, or small oak trees. These can be grown with saplings.

Ungrowable trees[edit | edit source]

Some trees cannot be grown with saplings; they only appear with terrain generation, or if a player manually makes one. Some are made from logs and leaves of other species. These trees include:

A "matchstick" spruce tree

Matchstick spruce trees[edit | edit source]

A variant of spruce trees with only a few leaves at the very top. Though they are common, they do not make up the majority of the trees in cold or snowy biomes. They cannot be found in ice plains, extreme hills, or any variant of those biomes. They are found in taiga biomes and rarely appear within the same biomes as mega spruce trees.

A "lollipop" spruce tree

Lollipop spruce trees[edit | edit source]

These trees are very similar to matchstick spruces; however, they have a lot more leaves. As such, they give a lot more saplings than the matchstick spruce which rarely produces even a single sapling. The leaves on this tree are arranged in a "diamond" shape. Just like the matchstick spruce tree, these trees cannot be found in the ice plains, extreme hills, or any variant of those biomes. However, these trees are also seen in all the taiga biomes. These trees also tend to be a little bit shorter than the matchstick spruce trees, but by a block or two.

A tall birch tree

Tall birch trees[edit | edit source]

These variants of birch trees have taller trunks than normal. They are found in the birch forest M biome.

Bush trees[edit | edit source]

A bush tree

Found in jungle biomes, they only have 1–2 logs and a few leaves. Typically are 1–3 layers tall and cover the floor of Jungle biomes heavily. On the PC and Console versions, they consist of oak leaves and a jungle log. In Pocket Edition, they consist of jungle leaves and a jungle log.

A swamp tree

Swamp trees[edit | edit source]

Found in swamp biomes, these trees are a variant of oak trees. Like the traditional oak, they are made up of oak logs and leaves, but have a much wider range in foliage. They tend to be covered in vines that trail down to the ground, giving the trees a lively, marshy appearance. They can also generate in water, but the saplings cannot be placed in the water as it will instantly be removed by the water surrounding it, making it impossible to grow one as mentioned above in species.

Different possible fallen log variants

Fallen trees[edit | edit source]

A Pocket Edition exclusive structure. They consist of a single upright log, or stump, which can spawn covered with vines and/or mushrooms of either color. 2-6 block long logs lying on their side are often found 1-2 blocks from the stump, occasionally with mushrooms on top. The trees can be composed of oak, spruce, birch, or jungle logs.

Foliage colors[edit | edit source]

Depending on where the tree spawns, the color of the leaves may differ. An example being if an oak tree is in a colder biome, it will have an aqua-green hue. Although if it is in a dry biome, it will have a mustard yellow hue. However, not all leaves change color depending on where they are.

Video[edit | edit source]

History[edit | edit source]

A classic-styled tree before biomes were introduced
Another very old image of a tree, along with its "cross-cut."[5]
0.0.14a_01 Added trees, they were only available as oak trees with a single foliage color.
0.0.15a Trees have a new shape.
0.24_06 Trees can now be grown with saplings.
0.29_01 Growing trees on a multiplayer server is now optional.
March 20, 2010 Re-added trees.
April 13, 2010 New trees implemented using parts of Paul Spooner's Forester editor script.
June 7, 2010 Reverted back to old tree code.
1.2 Birch and spruce trees introduced. Trees predating this update would appear to have multiple types of leaves, as the data indicating tree type was previously used for decay calculations.
1.5 Birch and spruce trees can now be grown using saplings.
1.8 The Swampland biome was added, with a new tree design (made of the same blocks as oak trees), which are of more uniform size and have vines growing on them. There is no way to grow these trees; oak saplings will grow normal oak trees. A bush-shaped variety of oak tree was removed.
Official release
1.0.0 Beta 1.9-pre4 Trees can sometimes be found growing on blocks of sand in swamp biomes.
1.2.1 Added jungle trees.
1.3.1 12w19a Small jungle trees can generate with cocoa already growing on them.
1.3.2 Large oak trees now generate with sideways logs.
1.7.2 13w36a Mega spruce trees, dark oak trees, and acacia trees added.
Spruce trees now spawn in ice plains biomes and extreme hills+ biomes in addition to oak trees.
Large oak trees no longer naturally generate in forest biomes.[6]
13w43a Acacia and roofed oak now have their own wood, leaves and sapling variants. Note that acacia and roofed oak trees generated prior to this snapshot will remain unchanged.
1.7-pre Renamed "roofed oak" to "dark oak".
1.8.2 1.8.2-pre4 Big oak and dark oak branches no longer replace solid blocks.
1.9 15w44a Large oak trees now spawn in forest biomes again.[7]
Pocket Edition Alpha
0.1.0 Added oak, spruce, and birch trees.
0.2.0 Oak trees now generate with spruce wood.
0.4.0 Oak trees use oak wood again.
0.9.0 build 1 Added jungle trees (small and mega), dark oak trees, acacia trees, mega spruce trees, acacia trees, oak trees (swamp and large oak variants), and version-exclusive fallen and dying trees.
Cold-en oak trees will not generate in any newly created maps.
0.11.0 build 1 Added tall birch tree variant.
Console Edition
TU1 Added oak, spruce, and birch trees.
TU12 Added jungle trees.
TU27 Added dark oak and acacia wood, but without their own leaves or saplings.

Removed trees[edit | edit source]

Before oak trees were given their modern shape, othe oak trees were simply stumps covered with a thin leaf layer.

Before the unique log types were added in 13w43a, these trees borrowed other trees' leaves and wood. These trees can no longer be grown with saplings or found naturally in new terrain.

The old oak tree in early Pocket Edition spawned with spruce wood for the trunk instead of oak wood.

The cold-en oak, or winter oak, was a tree formed by a rare glitch in older versions of Pocket Edition prior to 0.9.0. It causes a small tree with a leaf arrangement the same as that of small oak or birch to be generated on the border of a forest and a snowy area (one of which is usually mountainous). It is composed with spruce leaves and spruce logs (seen in the lite and newer versions prior to 0.9.0) or oak logs (paid only).

Issues[edit | edit source]

Issues relating to “Tree” are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Floating trees can appear when small above ground ponds spawn in a forested area. This happens since the tree is spawned when the chunk loads first, before the pond appears underneath. This leaves the tree floating above the lake.
  • If a sapling is surrounded by a 2 block tall tube it guarantees that it will, eventually, grow into a big tree. The tube forces the small tree growth to always fail each attempt. However, this takes far longer to produce a mature tree, due to the low chance that a sapling will try to grow into a big tree.
  • A tree standing over a lava pool may catch fire from the lava.
  • Large jungle trees and dark oak trees have dirt generated under them if they spawn with part over air or water.
  • Birch trees resemble the most and recognizable birch tree type: the Betula papyrifera, or Paper Birch, which is native to northern North America.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

Forests[edit | edit source]

Odd generation[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]