Farming Trees in Minecraft
When you break a leaf block, or when a leaf block decays after a tree has been cut down, there is a chance that it will drop a sapling. Plant some saplings in dirt on dirt or grass and you have a tree farm!
Trees need light to grow, so remember to place torches or other light sources about the place if you are growing trees indoors. Each sapling needs to be within 5 blocks of a light source.
You can only harvest wood 7 blocks high from floor level, so it often makes sense to build a roof over the farm so that trees are never too high to harvest easily. A glass roof is a good idea as it lets light through. A roof with 7 blocks of space beneath it will allow oak, spruce and jungle trees to grow without being too tall.
You can make trees grow faster if you apply bonemeal, however if you are in a small space you will waste a lot of bonemeal before the game chooses a small shape for the tree, so it’s probably not worth it. The exception is giant jungle trees, which can only be grown with bonemeal.
What type of tree should you farm? If you want a particular type of wood, that makes the decision for you, but here are the practical considerations.
These are the commonest trees in Minecraft, and the best type for most tree farms. You can plant saplings right next to each other, whereas other types of tree need more space. This makes oaks the only choice for indoors or underground farms.
Most oaks are small enough to harvest easily, but sometimes they grow huge and have lots of branches. These are a real nuisance to harvest so you will definitely want a roof over your farm to prevent these from growing.
The number of saplings you get back depends on how many leaf blocks there are when you do your harvest. Because oaks can grow very close together, you might not get very many saplings if there are a lot of trees. Just make sure that the ones you do get are well-spaced, and you’ll get plenty of leaves and therefore saplings next time.
Oak trees drop one apple for every 200 leaf blocks broken.
These trees need space to grow, so plant the saplings with two blocks gap between them. Birch trees grow very fast, and they never grow too tall to harvest from ground level so you won’t need a roof.
These don’t make for a good farm, as they don’t have as many leaves as other tree tyes and you don’t get many saplings when you harvest them. Although they do grow taller than birch trees, you can harvest most of them by hopping up onto the bottom block after breaking the second and third ones, so a roof is not necessary. They need the same wide spacing as birch trees, so a roof is rather impractical.
The normal-sized jungle trees are a nuisance to grow: they’re too tall to farm easily without a roof, and when a tree grows any saplings on the ground next to them pop out of the ground and are lost.
The jungle giant form can be grown by planting 4 saplings in a square and applying bonemeal. This is a quick way to gain a lot of wood, although harvesting it is quite a job. You can either climb all the way to the top on vines, then harvest the wood on the way down, or chop your way up to the top making a spiral staircase as you go. It’s not the most efficient way to farm wood, but it’s more fun (until you fall to your death.)
The other tree types in the game aren’t good for farming.