Tree farming is the process of planting a large number of saplings and waiting for them to grow into trees. These trees are then harvested for wood and more saplings, which can be used to grow another generation of trees. This can be repeated indefinitely, yielding a regular supply of logs without the hassle of covering large areas of terrain, therefore making wood a renewable resource. A secondary benefit of tree farming is that it allows conservation of the surrounding environment. The use of bone meal can speed up the process, or players can just plant the saplings and go do something else while they grow.
For detailed information on the mechanics of tree growth and structure, see the article on trees.
- 1 Uses
- 2 Which type of tree is best?
- 3 Farming Various Types of Trees
- 4 Automatic Tree Farms
- 5 1.14 TNT farms,
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 planks and sticks, which are used to craft tools, like a wooden pickaxe and similar wood-derived materials.
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 oak and 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 increases the speed of breaking leaves, with an iron hoe able to instantly mine them. 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.
Which type of tree is best?
Because all eight types have different advantages and disadvantages, the best tree to choose can vary with the situation:
- Oak is plentiful and convenient in compact spaces, making it the best at the beginning of the game. Oak leaves can also drop apples.
- Birch grows quickly and has the most uniform height, and is ideal for automatic farming, making it the best in moderately sized fields.
- Dark Oak grows extremely quick, has a larger average yield than oak, and is considerably more compact and safer to harvest than jungle giants. Dark oak leaves can also drop apples. Difficult to farm automatically.
- Jungle size and its tendency to spawn branches is ideal for mass-production of raw wood yield per tree, making it the best late game tree if provided plenty of time and space. The giant variant is difficult to farm automatically, however the smaller version is considerably easier to automatically farm.
- Acacias are ideal for space-efficient farming. Also difficult to farm automatically, however the amount of logs per tree almost makes it viable.
- Spruce is easy to find, but is too tall for convenient harvesting, and is not especially convenient to farm. The giant variant is good for time-efficient wood-quantity especially when a spiral technique is applied to harvest it. The giant variant is difficult to automate, however, with a fast enough layout it is well worth it.
- Huge fungus is only found in the nether and require a nylium to seed its growth. They are very space-efficient, however. They will only grow when bone meal is used. The near nonexistent growth restrictions allow great freedom for automated farming. And much like the giant spruce trees, if you have a fast enough layout it is well worth it.
Different kinds of trees have different wood textures. If building wooden structures, you may choose a specific type of wood for its texture. Because the efficiency difference among tree types is only slight, looks often take priority. If building or decorating with multiple wood types, having a tree farm for each is also useful.
Farming Various Types of Trees
What players need:
- At least 4 saplings of any kind
- A chest for storage (optional)
- An axe of any type to speed up the job (optional)
First dig 1 block down. Count 4 blocks to the left and dig 1 block down. 4 blocks left again, dig one down. Repeat one more time. Then plant a sapling in every hole:
Wait a day (or use bone meal), then harvest the trees and get the saplings. Place the chest nearby to store the saplings (and axe, if players have one) in there. Then, you can extend the grid if you like, as long as all the saplings are the same type. (Mixing types can work, but the timing and space requirements get a bit messier.) You can add a torch in the middle to make the saplings able to grow at night and also ward off some mobs.
Giant Tree Farming
Spruce and jungle trees can be planted and grown just like any other tree. But unless you only need a small amount of wood quickly, this is not very useful. Not only are regular jungle trees slightly too large to harvest easily, but the jungle trees drop saplings rarely, and may not even replace the one used to grow them.
However, four saplings can be grown into the respective "giant spruce" and "jungle giant" forms, by planting them in a 2×2 formation:
Warning: Aside from the saplings, make sure there are no blocks less than 2 blocks away from the saplings (even torches), at any height up to the future height of the tree trunk (up to 32 blocks). A huge tree with a 2×2 thick trunk will grow. These trees average ~96 wood (1½ stacks), and some can exceed 2 stacks. Bone meal can be used on any one of the saplings to make the tree grow more quickly. (Dark Oak must be planted similarly, but they don't grow tall enough to require the special harvesting techniques.)
- Especially if breaking the leaves on the spot, this can be most of a Minecraft day's work. Plan ahead—you may want to wait out the night 10 or 15 blocks up atop the trunk. Every so often, go back down to the ground to collect fallen wood and saplings—if you try to leave them until you've finished, some of the first logs and saplings will reach their 5-minute expiration. The fastest way to harvest a giant tree is with shears (bring a spare, you may use them up) and a diamond axe.
- If you're using stone axes, bring a spare, as you will probably use up the first one. With wood axes, bring at least four of them to be safe.
Harvesting trees is a bit harder, since the trees are really tall. You can do with a top-down technique or with a spiral-up technique.
- Top down: get up and cut down. Less thinking needed and more efficient for fast (enchanted diamond or netherite) axes.
- Getting up:
- For jungle giants, you can use those shears to harvest vines from two or three sides of the trunk to complete a track to the top, breaking or shearing the upper leaves.
- For giant spruces or if you can't be bothered with the vines, you can just bring a half-stack of ladders. If you do need ladders, but haven't got them, you can take a block or few of wood in a column (that is, a groove up the trunk), use those to make some ladders, and run the ladders up the groove, making more ladders as needed and as you mine the tree. You might need to make a crafting table with the first block.
- When you reach the top, you will find one block of wood standing above the other three. Chop that to start the canopy decaying.
- For jungle giants, it's best to stand on the trunk and clear all foliage above your foot level, then use the remaining leaves as a floor to get at branches and the edges of foliage. Go down level by level like this until you've got all the branches—watch for knots of foliage that aren't decaying even though they're separated from the trunk.
- For spruce trees, it will usually suffice to cut away the foliage from the trunk (as far below your level as you can reach), to speed decay.
- When you've got all the branches for a jungle giant, or immediately for a giant spruce, you can simply cut your way down the trunk.
- Getting up:
- Spiral up: cut a staircase out of the tree. No extra tools needed. As fast as top-down for normal axes.
- Start by cutting three bottom blocks (height 1,2,3) out of the right (or left) side the tree. Go inside the space you just created, cut up three higher blocks (height 2,3,4) on the neighboring part. Go up that block, turn left (or right), and repeat (height 3,4,5) until you make it to the top.
- Now make you way down by going down four stairs, chopping away what is above you, and repeat. If you have see a branch, cut that down first, using the leaves as a floor.
- When you are on the ground, just finish up the little stump you have left.
If you want to be able to pause your work or are just afraid of heights, you can put a block of water around the dirt blocks where tree sapings sit on. If you are working with spruce trees, increase the depth to two blocks in case leaves grow over them.
Oak tree farming
Since the player can only harvest 7 blocks above the ground without climbing on something, the most efficient tree farm design limits the height of trees to 9 blocks. This allows 7 blocks of logs as a "trunk" and 2 block of leaves above that. This is accomplished by adding a ceiling at 10th block above the ground, leaving a space 9 blocks high in which trees can grow. This allows all of the wood from the trees to be harvested quickly and with minimal effort. The other option is to grab what you can from the ground and use a flint and steel to burn what you can't reach.
It should be noted that leaving 9 blocks of space for trees to grow will not guarantee that all trees grow to this height. Trees will grow with trunks 4-7 blocks in height, but not higher. Some may also grow branches despite the height limitation.
This height issue can also be avoided by planting a sapling on the bottom of a 2-block-deep hole. This ensures that the top layer of the tree will still be reachable, and has the added benefit of preventing mobs from hiding in the shadow of the tree and surviving daylight. It also prevents growth of the smallest size, whose leaves would be blocked by the hole.
Note that oaks can grow through certain blocks: Small oaks can replace many blocks (fences, glass (but not glass panes), paintings, stairs, pistons, torches, buttons, ladders and doors), while the branch wood of large oaks can grow through even solid blocks (including bedrock).
Since trees will grow quite happily underground with a nearby light source, and will grow when in direct or diagonal contact with other trees, quite compact arrangements can be used for efficient use of space.
Underground saplings rely on torch light to grow. Various patterns of saplings and torches can be used to achieve varying degrees of space efficiency. Since saplings only require light level 9 to grow, a single torch starting at light level 14 can sufficiently light 60 saplings. However, this torch-efficient model comes at the cost of stability. Trees can grow and block the torch light to other saplings. Underground tree farms should stay clear of magma blocks because a bug relating to the South/East rule may let magma affect any leaf/wood blocks occupying the same corner [verify].
It is also possible to grow trees to maximize wood for the territory. However, since the canopies will overlap, you will get fewer saplings back. Oak, birch, jungle, and acacia trees ignore logs of their own kind when calculating when to grow. However, spruce trees still require two blocks between other trees.
The most space-efficient way to prevent grown trees from blocking light to other saplings is to have every sapling directly next to a torch (not diagonal). This strategy yields a basic space efficiency of 80% since the pattern is made up of units of 1 torch + 4 saplings. The plus-sign shaped units can be arranged to completely fill an area.
It is recommended that the perimeter walkway and all blocks with a torch underneath be a different material, such as cobblestone. This will allow for quick visual identification during re-planting, of which blocks get saplings and which get torches that may have been inadvertently knocked out during harvest. It is recommended to do the same for torches on the wall, as these may get knocked off by growing trees. If you dig down two blocks instead, and place the torches under glass blocks, the trees will still receive the proper light level, and you are far less likely to inadvertently break your light structure during harvesting or replanting.
A 11 by 7 farm, utilizing 61 Saplings and 22 torches, with a perimeter walkway.
This design takes account for the fact that all saplings adjacent to the walkway are supplied by light from the torches on the walkway. Thus the farm yields an efficiency of 84%.
Note when the tree farm is cut down, the amount of returned saplings per tree is much lower than cutting trees in a forest, as the canopy is shared by many trees. Therefore, when starting the farm, growing them more spaced out will yield more saplings per tree, letting you stock up for a desired tree farm size more quickly.
Farming Spruce and Birch Trees
Unlike oak trees, spruce and birch trees will never grow to a branched tree. This makes them easier to harvest, but to farm Birch and Spruce trees efficiently, more space is required. Birches can be planted next to other birches with 2 blocks of space between them since the birch leaves can overlap with other birch leaves. This same spacing holds true for spruces. However, when planting the different types of trees together, birch and spruce trees need 4 blocks of space in between the saplings (the tree will not grow if leaves of a different tree are obstructing its path). Both birch and spruce trees require 9 blocks of vertical space above the sapling to grow regularly (10 is more efficient for growth). Both spruce and birch will grow with less space, but not as regularly. Like other saplings, they must receive light level 8 or better to grow.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 1 2 3 4 5 6
Farming Acacia trees
Acacia trees will need six blocks space from the sapling to the ceiling, if there is any, and at least two empty blocks to each wall. So the minimum space that an acacia tree requires to grow is an empty rectangular cuboid over the sapling of 6(height) × 5(wide) × 5(long) blocks.
Farming Huge Fungi
Huge fungi will require Bone Meal, Nylium and Fungi to farm. You can make a platform of nylium, bonemeal it until it generates fungi, then quickly grow the fungi and break the bottom stem to prevent the nylium from decaying. Cut down the fungus, and break the vegetation and nether wart blocks that generate and compost them, along with all the non-fungus vegetation that generates with using the bone meal on the nylium. If you are lucky, you will get enough bone meal to do it all over again. You can always farm some other vegetation to produce enough bone meal to make sure you do not run out.
3+ in 1
You can much more easily collect all the logs if you farm multiple trees in a special shape.
- It does not matter if the birch trees are replaced by spruce or vice-versa.
- To collect it in this fashion simply do as below:
- Chop all or most of the birch or spruce trees down to a stump and jump on each and every stump to collect the top logs.
- Cut a two-high notch into one of the oaks, one block above where you currently are, and jump up into it.
- Now you can either jump one higher into the jungle or another oak's trunk after collecting all the logs overhead.
- Continue step 3 until you have harvested all the upper logs.
- Get rid of the stumps or "pillars" you stood on.
- Repeat all steps to content.
EthosLab's tree farm
In EthosLab's LP episode 51, Etho has a tree farm with 24 trees growing side by side in a 7x7 square. The tree/dirt part looks like:
The farm should be put above a flowing source of water to auto-collect the drops. In Etho's version, the farm is put in the middle of a 13x13 square, and on each corner of the square is a water block. This takes all drops from the leaves to the center point of the setup, where you can place a hopper.
After setting up the farm, just put a sapling (oak, birch, or spruce) on every dirt block. If you want to plant 25 trees, you can put a dirt block in the dead center.
Automatic Tree Farms
Although somewhat complex to build (as opposed to planting saplings and just waiting/bonemealing and then manually chopping them down), these automatic tree farms allow you to harvest wood at a much faster rate by automating the gathering and block breaking portions of tree farming.
Auto Grow, Manual Harvest designs
Focusing only on the growth portion of the farm, these designs allow you to quickly grow hundreds of trees by pressing down a mouse button and then ignoring it. A dispenser with bonemeal will automatically force the tree to grow, and a column of pistons will push the trunk into a collection area where it will be stacked in a large block for you to later 'mine'. The more complex designs also include leaf breaking, meaning that you end up with a net positive on the saplings and in the case of oak trees get apples without having to do much of anything.
After a few minutes you then go over to the storage area and mine out all the wood blocks in much the same way as you would cave-mine; meaning that you do not have to waste time by moving from one tree to the other.
Minecraft With Dummies Design
Smallest auto tree farm design (no sapling collection, oak only)
Auto tree farm design (breaks all leaves, for oak trees only)
Mumbo Jumbo's Design
Auto tree farm design (breaks all leaves, can use any tree type except spruce and dark oak)
1.14 TNT farms,
As of update 1.14, it's possible to make a TNT based tree farm, or TNTree, with 100% drop rate for saplings, apples, sticks and logs.
AFK tree farm designs
Several mobs in the game can break blocks, and most of them have been used for wood farming. An overly complex design featuring creepers was made, but the insane size of it makes constructing it anywhere exceptionally difficult. A different design that uses ghasts is also available and much simpler to make, however when ghasts break blocks they destroy (without dropping) most of them, making tree farming with the ghast extremely inefficient.
The wither makes it possible to auto-break blocks by using the wither's ability to break any blocks within a 3×3×4 area (4x6x4 on bedrock edition) of it one second after it has been damaged. The wither can be trapped in bedrock in any of the dimensions. Because of the larger breaking area on Bedrock Edition, you can grow oak, birch, jungle, acacia, spruce, and even dark oak (by using boats to shift the breaking area) inside the breaking area of the wither.
A newer method of caging in the wither has also been found that enables a tree farm to be build anywhere while at the same time using the wither to break the wood blocks. Although potentially more dangerous than encasing the Wither in bedrock (as in the above design), this cage has been found to be completely reliable as long as it is built correctly. It works by distracting each head with mobs without them being able to damage those mobs.
AFK-able Universal Tree Farms
These tree farms work with all tree types except for dark oak. The only reason it does not work with dark oak is because they have a 2x2 block trunk. The section below covers those.
Automatic Dark Oak Tree Farms
These are nearly non-existent because dark oak trees grow with a 2×2 trunk and have extremely specific growth restrictions.
Self-sustaining Fungus Farm
Fungi can be generated from using bone meal on nylium. The bone meal can be generated by composting the Wart Blocks from a grown Huge Fungus. Combine this with a flying machine and a TNT duplicator for breaking the blocks and add some sorting mechanisms, a self-sustaining farm is made.
Since nylium decays when an opaque block (like tree stem) is above it, it is recommended that players stay away from the farm so that random ticks don't land on the nylium blocks. A smaller-scale version for logs only (without the TNT and composting) is shown to the right.