Saturday, May 25, 2013

Minecraft is Tree Farming

From day one in your Minecraft game you’re going to need wood for almost everything you do. This is the material your first tools are made from, you need it for powering your furnaces, making torches, building chests, and a myriad of other things including simple aesthetics. As such one of your earliest projects is going to be building a tree farm

Types of Trees
There are four different types of trees in Minecraft; birch, oak, spruce, and jungle. These trees are all functionally the same, but some things crafted out of them will have different colorations so you can pick your favorite later if you wish. Each tree also has different possible sizes. Birch has the fewest and will never grow taller than you can harvest from the ground so it’s a good option for your early farming endeavors. Oak and spruce trees both can grow short or tall versions, but spruce will only grow strait up while oak may have some branches in the taller versions. Jungle trees planted by themselves will create a small or large version as normal, but with 4 saplings planted in a 2x2 pattern will grow a jungle giant which can take a whole Minecraft day to harvest and will yield a huge amount of wood for doing so. However, because of the falling risk, these trees are somewhat dangerous to harvest and are for more advanced tree farming.

Types of Farming
There are a few different types of farming used to harvest trees in Minecraft. The first and easiest is of course the on the ground harvesting method which is best for gathering birch. This method involves a flat area with birch trees interspersed throughout. You can either wait for them to grow naturally or help them with bone-meal. Then simply harvest them once they’ve grown and replant them afterwards by placing a sapling down where they were previously.

For taller trees such as Oak and Spruce, you may wish to create a structure to help you get up to the top of them or just pillar up with sand or gravel. You can then harvest from the top down which will usually take less than 5 minutes and so if anything falls you just grab it when you’re done. If you pillared up using sand or gravel you can then just break the bottom most block over and over to recover your materials and not leave behind ugly looking pillars of material.

Jungle giants are by far the most difficult and dangerous to harvest. These trees can get up to 32 blocks high and if harvesting from the top, it’s important to note that the canopy will occasionally have random gaps in each level, so make sure to watch out for those lest you potentially fall to your death (typically 24 blocks will kill you, though boots enchanted with feather falling can help significantly in harvesting these types of trees). Getting to the top can also be a challenge. The shortest jungle giants can be as little as 11 blocks high which means creating a structure may be challenging as there’s a wide variance to account for. Pillaring is an option and it’s typically safest to go up through part of the canopy with your pillar. Jungle giants also grow vines, which can be harvested with shears and placed to create a ladder up the trunk of the tree. While it’s often possible to get to the top without harvesting the vines and just jumping from side to side, it is extremely dangerous and I’d advise against it. Finally, you can also choose to create a spiral staircase out of the tree trunk as you harvest your way up and then gather the rest of the wood on the way down. This is a very effective method, but may cause some of the leaves to disappear before you get a chance to harvest them. Because there’s so much harvesting to be done on a jungle giant, you may wish to use an iron or diamond ax
 or at least bring a couple stone axes with you.

Conclusions

Wood is a vital resource in Minecraft and one that I’m happy to say is infinitely renewable in the game. With some creativity you can set up a tree farm that meets your needs and supplies plenty of wood to your N3rd C0rn3r.