Trees are generated structures of wood and leaf blocks, created when a map chunk is generated or grown from a planted sapling. They are found in most biomes, and are abundant in forest-related biomes. There are six "base" species of trees – oak trees, birch trees, spruce trees, jungle trees, acacia trees, and dark oak trees. All the trees can grow in many shapes and sizes.
- 1 Appearance
- 2 Uses
- 3 Growth and characteristics
- 4 Species
- 5 Ungrowable trees
- 6 Technical trees
- 7 Foliage colors
- 8 Video
- 9 History
- 10 Issues
- 11 Trivia
- 12 Gallery
- 13 References
Their natural height varies widely, but most trees have a minimum height of 5 blocks (4 wood and 1 leaf), ranging up to 30 blocks for the "giant" Jungle trees and 15 for the "small" Jungle trees
The tree canopy is 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, (for the shorter "bush trees" in the jungle) and go up to 6 blocks from the ground (for the tallest trees). Tree canopies appear to be 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 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. A few trees can have many more. Branches support a much larger canopy than a tree with a single trunk. Birch and spruce trees cannot grow branches. Jungle biomes has a special type: "bush trees" (one block of jungle wood completely covered by leaves).
Tree harvesting is an essential first step for any player in Survival mode. The wooden blocks can be harvested for wood, without requiring tools, although an axe quickens harvesting. Each wood can be crafted into wooden planks and sticks, which are used to craft tools.
When leaves are harvested, or decay naturally, there is a chance they will drop a sapling of their own species, which can be planted to grow a new tree. Decaying (dark) oak tree leaves also have a 1/200 chance of dropping an apple. Destroying leaves does not require a tool; a sword destroys leaves negligibly faster, but this quickly wears out the sword. Using a hoe to destroy a leaf block will not wear it out, but is the same speed as your hands. (However, on Pocket Edition, using a hoe will wear it out.) Shears harvest leaf blocks quickly, and will drop a usable leaf block for the player to pick up and later place elsewhere. Use of fire will also destroy leaves quickly, but when used on a tree, fire will also destroy much of the wood. (Fire is more useful when harvested leaf blocks have been placed elsewhere, as temporary barriers or filler blocks.)
Growth and characteristics
See also: Tutorials/Tree Farming
Trees are grown from saplings, which 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.
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 an unobstructed view of the sky (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.
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.
If you are standing on a sapling when it turns into a tree you will be trapped inside and begin to suffocate. You can escape by moving or digging. Sometimes, but rarely, this death results in deletion of items.
Bone meal forces 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, regardless of light level. 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.
Leaves of small oaks (but not large ones) will destroy fences, glass, paintings, stairs, pistons, torches, buttons, ladders and doors due to a mismatch between the tree's actual and test forms. While tree trunks will not grow through solid blocks, the branches of large oaks may grow through (replace) any blocks that are not directly above the trunk, including chests. Oak leaves are unique in being able to grow through leaves of other tree types.
All saplings will grow normally in The Nether and in The End, although they must be planted in dirt transported from the Overworld. Leaf blocks in the Nether have the same color as if they were placed in a desert biome.
In order to grow a 2×2 tree (be it spruce, jungle or dark oak), four saplings must be placed adjacent to each other. 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, as well as no blocks 1 block away except at the same level of the sapling (even diagonally). Which sapling the Bone Meal is used on is irrelevant. The largest jungle trees ever seen can grow up to 44 blocks high, although trees as short as 9 blocks have also been observed.
Some materials (including wood, leaves, dirt and saplings, but not vines, farmland, or tall grass) block the growth of the large trees.
Oak trees are unique in several ways compared to birch, spruce, jungle, acacia and dark oak trees. Oak trees have a much smaller space requirement, and while birch, spruce, jungle, acacia and dark oak trees can only grow through other leaves of their own type, oak trees will grow into any other leaf block. Oak and dark oak trees are also the only species of trees that can drop an Apple when their leaf block is destroyed.
They come in several variants with widely different properties:
- Small oak trees are the most commonly encountered, and resemble birch trees in their shape and size. They require no horizontal clearance at the base, 1 block around the main trunk, 2 blocks from the top of the trunk up to the ceiling and 6-8 blocks of vertical clearance. Thus, a small oak tree can grow in a 1 deep hole, but not a 2 deep hole. Just as jungle trees, their growth will not be hindered by wood, leaves, dirt and saplings. The small oak tree was the first tree to exist in Minecraft, dating back to Survival Test.
- 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. These have existed since Infdev.
- 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.
- 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.
Spruce trees, also known as pine trees, 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:
- A regular variant with a height similar to oak trees.
- A large 2×2 variant that generates in the Mega Taiga biome and can be grown from spruce saplings arranged in a 2x2 square, with or without bonemeal. They are commonly called "Redwoods" or "Mega Spruce Trees". The saplings need two squares in any direction (thus a 6x6 square) and 16 squares of open space above (or more).
The leaves of the short variant tend to grow in discrete rows rather than the more "spherical" arrangement of oaks and birch trees; the tall variants tend to have very few leaves, concentrated at the top.
Like birch trees, they do not grow branches, and have a larger space requirement than oaks. This minimum space requirement is one block taller than the birch, at 5×5×8 blocks, and as with birch trees, they will not grow if any blocks occupy this volume. 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.
To grow a 2x2 mega spruce tree variant, there must be no block other than air, wood, leaves or saplings either directly next to or diagonally to the northwest spruce sapling. There are no other additional space requirements (other than potentially height) to successfully grow these mega spruce trees.
Birch trees look fairly similar to small oak trees in terms of height, and with leaves of a paler color; however, they stand out with their unique white bark. They 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, making them easy to cut down. 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. Because birch saplings only grow into the one type of tree, and due to their relatively fast grow rate, they are the preferred type in tree farms.
The smallest birch tree requires a 5×6 (diameter×height) volume of free space, whilst the tallest tree requires a 5×8 volume. The volume starts at one meter above the base of the sapling, and needs to be void of any block save for leaves of any type or birch wood. This allows for birch trees to grow next to other birches. The topmost 5×5 layer above the tree is always empty space, and saplings will not grow if this space is obstructed by other blocks (including torches). This behavior is different from oak trees, which will grow regardless of obstructions (usually not growing into the obstructed area). Dark Oak trees behave similarly.
Birch leaf distribution
|3rd and 4th rows|
Birch trees will always grow an absolute minimum of 50 leaves, which bodes well for the player considering the 1-in-20 chance for those leaves to drop saplings. If one is lucky, a birch tree may grow a maximum of 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
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, unlike the occasional jungle trees with a 2×2 trunk that you find naturally in the jungle biome. For these trees to grow, there must be no blocks adjacent to the sapling up to the height of the tree.
2×2 jungle trees will not grow within two spaces of the trunk of another 2×2 tree directly north and west direction of the existing tree. On the south and east directions it will not grow within 3 blocks.
Acacia trees are only found in the Savanna biome (their wood is also found in bonus chests). Acacia trees 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. They are usually quite small. A typical acacia tree is around eight blocks tall. 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. Acacia leaves have a chance of dropping acacia saplings, which can be grown into acacia trees. Their logs are grey on the outside, with an orangish inside, and acacia planks are a similar shade of red as the inside of the logs. Before the unique log was added, these trees used jungle logs as a placeholder. You can grow the following three acacia trees:
- The common acacia tree, which has a diagonal trunk and a single canopy.
- The Multi-canopy acacia, where the trunk forks around the middle of the plant and each end ends in a canopy.
- 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.
Dark oak trees
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. Their bark texture is slightly lighter than Spruce logs, but the planks made from them are significantly darker. Growing these trees requires four dark oak saplings arranged in a 2×2 grid; they will not grow if planted individually. Before the unique log was added, these trees used spruce logs as a placeholder. Dark oak trees grow at a much faster rate than most other trees. This is so far the only tree that can't be grown from one sapling.
A Pocket Edition exclusive tree. They have the standard growth pattern, however all exposed logs are covered with vines. These can be grown with saplings, allowing for an easy way to get vines in maps before 0.9.0.
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:
Matchstick spruce trees
A variant of Spruce trees with leaves only at the very top. These trees are common, with few leaves on them. This makes it easy to obtain wood from these trees, without the hassle of decaying leaves; they only have nine or twelve. 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 only rare within biomes that mega spruce trees spawn in, and are found in all the Taiga biomes.
Lollipop spruce trees
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 produce 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.
Tall birch trees
Unlike the normal birch tree, these variants of birch trees have taller trunks than normal. They are found in the Birch Forest M biome. This makes them considerably rare, considering that the biome that they are in is also considerably rare. However, they are very convenient for gathering large quantities of birch wood, or any wood for that matter. This makes them a good biome to start with if you are new to the game.
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 the Pocket Edition, they consist of oak leaves and an oak log.
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.
Occasionally, when an oak tree spawns in a savanna biome, there is a rare glitch when it spawns with acacia leaves instead of oak leaves (but the oak trunk still remains). Oak trees do generate in the savanna, but with oak leaves like normal. This glitch is hard to see since the texture for acacia and oak leaves are exactly the same, though they do not stack with each other, and drop different saplings.
A Pocket Edition exclusive structure. They are logs lying on their side, occasionally with vines and/or mushrooms of either color. Also, an upright log, or stump, from which it appears to have broken off of can be found two blocks away from where the rings of the wood is facing.
Before the unique log types were added, these trees borrowed other trees' leaves and wood. These trees can no longer be grown with saplings, although they may be built manually by the Player.
Jungle acacia trees
The old acacia, spawned before 13w43a, was composed of jungle logs and oak leaves. It still, however, spawned in the same formation as it currently does.
Spruce oak trees
The old dark oak tree, spawned before 13w43a, was composed of spruce logs and regular oak leaves, despite still spawning in the same formation as it currently does.
Cold-en oak trees
The Cold-en Oak, or winter oak, was a tree formed by a rare glitch in Pocket Edition. They could be found in both versions of the MCPE, and still appears rarely in the old Lite version on devices that still have it. 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 paid versions) or oak logs (paid only).
Pocket Edition Lite trees
Oak trees in Pocket Edition's free/demo version were spawned with spruce wood, rather than oak wood, due to a bug in which it was unobtainable. Since MCPE Lite has been removed from the AppStore on October 21st, 2013, these trees are no longer available without manually building it in other editions.
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.
|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||Added tree growth.|
|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 pine 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 pine saplings became available. Post-Beta 1.5 oak-type saplings will not stack with pre-Beta 1.5 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.|
|1.0.0||Beta 1.9-pre4||Trees can sometimes be found growing on blocks of sand. This has been observed in swamp biomes.|
|1.1||Oak leaves were given a 1/200(0.5%) chance of dropping an Apple when they are destroyed or decay. This is useful as now golden apples can be created without the player needing to find a dungeon.|
|1.2.1||The Jungle tree became available. A bug existed that transformed saplings in a 2×2 square with jungle saplings into other jungle saplings if the growth of a giant tree fails. This would not be revealed until the block graphics were updated, such as when a block is placed or destroyed nearby. The bug was exploited to rapidly create jungle saplings from other saplings using bonemeal, since they do not drop as frequently.|
|1.2.4||Fixed sapling bug. Different tree logs have slightly different colors, and make different colored planks. (e.g., Birch tree logs are turned into a lighter plank texture when crafted into planks.) Neither blocks nor planks from different types of tree will stack with each other, but they can be freely mixed in crafting. Crafted items (notably sticks) no longer remember what sort of wood they came from. In particular, a smashed boat always produces oak planks (and some sticks).|
|1.3.1||12w18a||Jungle trees were given a chance to drop cocoa beans from their leaves.|
|12w19a||Jungle leaves no longer drop cocoa beans. Instead, small jungle trees can generate with the new Cocoa Plants already growing on them.|
|1.3.2||Large oak trees now generate with sideways logs.|
|July 30, 2013|
|Cherry trees have been mentioned to be implemented by Patrick Geuder|
|1.7.2||13w36a||2×2 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.|
|13w43a||Acacia and "Roofed Oak" saplings, wood, and leaves added. Note that Acacia and Dark Oak trees generated prior to this snapshot will remain unchanged.|
|1.7-pre||Acacia and Dark oak can be crafted into planks, added new textures for the logs, and changed "Roofed Oak" to "Dark Oak".|
|Pocket Edition Alpha|
|0.9.0||build 1||Added jungle trees (small and large), dark oak trees, acacia trees, 2x2 spruce trees, savanna trees, oak trees (swamp and large oak variants) and version-exclusive fallen trees.|
|Cold-en oak trees will not generate in any newly created maps.|
|Oak and spruce trees now generate with different heights and structures.|
Issues relating to "Tree" are maintained on the issue tracker. Report issues there.
- Saplings will only sprout into trees if they are planted on a chunk of the map that is loaded into memory. If you plant saplings and then explore another more distant area of your world for a few days, they will still be saplings when you return.
- It appears when small above ground ponds spawn in a forested area, one may find floating trees. 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.
- It is possible, but very rare to find a tree in a desert biome, since they can only spawn in basins with exposed dirt, or on a bit of dirt located at the VERY border of the desert and other biome.
- 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.
- Trees can grow to encase the player in leaves.
- A tree standing over a lava pool may catch fire from the lava. These fires can be very dangerous, burning down entire forests. Though an effective way to prevent this is to avoid or cut trees that are near lava, or cover the lava, and so on to prevent the forests from burning down.
- Large jungle trees and dark oak trees have dirt generated under them if they spawn with part over air or water.
- Oak and dark oak trees drop apples on occasion, which is botanically incorrect. Apple trees drop apples, and oak trees should drop acorns. There is a real thing called an "oak apple", but it's an inedible gall, caused by a wasp that lays its eggs in oak buds.
- Jungle trees can sometimes exceed cloud level. (Y=128)
- Birch trees resemble the most and recognizable birch tree type: the "Betula Papyrifera", or Paper Birch, which is native to northern North America.