How to transplant aspen trees?


How To Transplant Quaking Aspens? – Knowledgebase Question

Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides)
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Transplanting is best done in early spring or early fall so root systems can establish before the heat of summer or the cold of winter.
Prepare planting holes before digging the trees to minimize the amount of time the roots are exposed. Trees develop shallow, spreading root systems in the top two to three feet of soil and have few deep or “tap” roots. Till or loosen an area of soil that is five times as wide and only as deep as the tree’s root ball. (Try to keep as much of the root ball intact as possible when digging up your volunteers.) Starting with a wide section of aerated soil provides roots with oxygen and allows them to spread easily.
In the center of this area, dig a planting hole that is twice as wide as the root ball and no deeper. The top of the root ball should be level with the groundor just slightly above to allow for sinkage.
Do not amend the backfill with organic matter. In over 30 studies on trees, no advantage was found to incorporating amendments into the backfill. Ensure that the tree is securely upright but do not heavily tamp or pack the backfill, which compacts soil and impedes water and oxygen flow.
Form a circular berm, or rim, to make a water well on the outside of the root ball. The goal is to keep water away from the trunk to discourage disease.
Add a three- to five-inch-deep layer of mulch around the tree’s entire planting zone. Mulch conserves water by keeping soil temperatures cooler and reducing evaporation. Keep mulch about six inches away from the trunk to help prevent disease. Fertilizer isn’t needed for a tree’s first year.

How to Transplant Aspen Trees

aspen grove image by Carbonbrain from

Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) are small to medium-sized trees. The leaves on these deciduous trees flutter in the slightest breeze, creating the appearance of trembling or quaking. In nature, aspen trees quickly cover areas of the land lost to forest fires, erosion and logging practices. Because of their interesting appearance, as well as their ability to grow rapidly, aspen trees make good choices in many landscape designs in areas with cool climates.

Prepare the soil for your aspen transplant. Choose an area that receives plenty of sunlight but receives protection from hot winds and excessive heat. Aspens prefer slightly acidic types of soil that provide good drainage. Test the soil in your selected area to determine the pH level as well as the nutrient composition. Aspens require a pH level below 7 for optimum health. Purchase a soil test kit and follow the instructions for gathering the soil sample and adding soil amendments determined by the results of the test. Add organic materials, such as compost, to heavy soil. Loosen the soil in your selected site with a garden shovel, adding any required amendments and mixing well.

Look for a healthy aspen tree to transplant. Aspen trees reproduce by suckers, making it easy to find small, manageable-sized trees among mature specimens. Select a healthy specimen by checking the leaves for signs of disease, such as black spots or curling edges. Choose a tree with an upright, uniform appearance.

Set a burlap bag or large piece of fabric on the ground near your selected transplant. Dig up your chosen tree with a garden shovel. Allow plenty of room for the root ball, cutting through the single sucker root as far away from your transplant as possible. Place your dug tree, including a large amount of surrounding soil, in the middle of your burlap bag or fabric. Quickly pull up the edges of the fabric to encase the root ball. Tie the fabric around the trunk with a piece of string and slightly dampen the fabric to retain moisture near the newly dug roots.

Plant your new aspen as soon as possible. Dig a hole in your prepared soil to allow adequate room for the entire root ball and the additional soil in your burlap bag. Set the tree in the hole to a level equal with the surrounding soil. Spread the roots along the bottom of the hole and backfill with soil. Gently tamp down the area around the base of the tree to eliminate pockets of air in the soil.

Water your transplanted aspen tree after planting. Aspens require slightly moist soil at the depth of the roots. Check for this by digging a few inches below the surface of the soil near the base of the tree. Water often enough to maintain slight moisture at this level.

Aspen Tree Care: Tips For Planting A Quaking Aspen Tree

Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) are lovely in the wild, and enjoy the most extensive native range of any tree on the continent. Their leaves have flattened petioles, so they tremble in every light breeze. You may have admired aspens lighting up park slopes with brilliant yellow fall color. But be sure to read up on quaking aspen tree facts before you plant them in your backyard. Cultivated aspens can be a problem to a homeowner. Read on for information about the pros and cons of planting a quaking aspen tree, and how to grow quaking aspen trees.

Quaking Aspen Tree Facts

Before planting a quaking aspen tree in your garden, you’ll need to understand the pros and cons of cultivated aspen trees. Some gardeners love them, some do not.

Aspen trees grow very quickly and are very hardy. That means that you can “furnish” a new backyard in just a few seasons if you plant aspens. Aspens are small and won’t overwhelm your yard, and sometimes they provide nice autumn color.

On the other hand, consider that the role of aspens in nature is as a “succession” tree. Its job in the wild is to spread quickly in eroded or burned out areas, providing cover for seedlings of forest trees like pine, fir and spruce. As the forest trees get bigger, the aspen die out.

Quaking aspen tree facts establish that this succession tree spreads very fast in proper terrain. It grows fast from seeds, but also grows from suckers. Planting a quaking aspen tree can lead quickly to many quaking aspen weed trees invading your yard.

How Big Do Quaking Aspens Get?

If you are planting a quaking aspen tree, you may ask “how big do quaking aspens get?” They are generally small or medium trees, but can grow to 70 feet tall in the wild.

Note that cultivated trees grown in soil unlike that in which the tree experiences in the wild may stay smaller than trees in nature. They also may drop their leaves in the fall without that brilliant yellow display you see in the parks.

How to Grow Quaking Aspen Trees

If you decide to go ahead with planting a quaking aspen tree, try to pick nursery-grown specimens rather than those taken from the wild. Nursery grown trees require less quaking aspen tree care and may avoid some of the disease issues the tree experiences in cultivation.

A large part of quaking aspen tree care involves selecting an appropriate planting location. Plant the trees in moist, well-drained soil. The soil should be slightly acidic for the tree to thrive.

Plant aspens on northern or eastern slopes, or northern or eastern sides of your house, rather than sunnier areas. They cannot tolerate drought or hot, dry soil.

Populus tremuloides – Quaking Aspen

Next Plant ” ” Previous Plant Availability Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods
We don’t have fall availability counts of the shippable sizes for this variety yet. We are still grading and counting plants in some areas of our nursery. Notify me when it’s back!Guaranteed to Grow! Or you’ll get a free replacement. FREE Shipping!
On Orders Of $75 Or More
Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods
We don’t have fall availability counts of the shippable sizes for this variety yet. We are still grading and counting plants in some areas of our nursery. Notify me when it’s back! #landscape #native #tree #height=25 #hardiness=-60 #sun=3-5 #habit=upright #branch=low #spread=running #end Average Height: 20-30 feet
Hardiness: Zones 1-6
Aspect: Sun or some shade
Plant Spacing: 10-15 feet apart Spread: trees produce suckers from roots and form colonies of trees
Populus tremuloides, or Quaking Aspen, is the most widely distributed tree in North America that thrives in cold mountainous regions. Aspen trees are gorgeous for their beautiful white trunks and golden fall color, but are also known for providing almost constant motion in the garden as the leaves flutter wildly even with seemingly no breeze (hence the name “Quaking” Aspen). These trees are exceptionally cold hardy and thrive in colder regions than any other plant we grow. They are listed as growing in zones 1-6 which would indicate that they don’t do well in warmer southern climates, although here in zone 8 they perform well. Their native range extends well into Mexico’s central mountains where the climate is much warmer and without much of a winter, showing that under the right conditions these trees perform well in most areas. For areas with high summer heat like our nursery (100 degrees is common for much of the summer) a little bit of afternoon shade goes a long way in keeping plants healthy.
Aspens produce colonies of trees as they produce roots which travel underground for sometimes long distances before sending up shoots to grow into new trees. Therefore one tree will produce a small grove over time and this makes Aspens an excellent choice for establishing large forested areas on good sized properties. However, in small gardens this trait makes the plants invasive and so sadly Aspens are not a good choice for residential areas. Many people attempt to just cut back all the suckers each year but this only works until the roots spread into your neighbor’s yard where they are free to grow into new trees.

Aspen trees like areas with good summer moisture and often grow in mountain meadows and along streambeds. However, they also do equally well in high drained soil in our area and are often found growing in pumice fields where their roots can grow deep enough to get to consistent water. Water plants during dry summer spells to get your trees established for the fastest growth.

A colony of Aspen trees growing on a rocky hillside.
Image Credit: Commons
The fantastic fall colors of Aspen trees groves.
Image Credit: Commons

Shippable Sizes These plants can ordered online and shipped directly to you or picked up at the nursery. Most of these plants are shipped bare root, read about shipping methods
We don’t have fall availability counts of the shippable sizes for this variety yet. We are still grading and counting plants in some areas of our nursery. Notify me when it’s back!

How Your Plants Are Packaged And Shipped

A bare root Sitka Spruce
A 2 gallon Sitka Spruce with all the soil washed away Bare root and washed root are very similar but in the nursery trade typically bare root plants are trees which are grown in the field and dug up in the winter with no soil attached. These plants are typically cheaper due to lower growing costs and are popular for large projects where a large number of plants are needed. When the are dug they lose any roots that grew away from the main root ball and typically these plants will grow a little slower in their first year as they focus on producing new roots before returning to fast top growth. Despite the longer establishment period, bare root plants benefit from the root pruning and will produce a superior long-term root structure than washed root plants. Certain plant species and varieties that are prone to poor root system development are only available bare root for this reason. Bare root plants have high success rates but are not tolerant of planting directly into windy areas, especially with evergreen species as the remaining roots will not be sufficient to withstand drying winds. If you are planting in high-wind areas you should consider ordering washed root plants.
Washed root plants are grown in containers like one or two gallon pots in a standard nursery setting and can ship much earlier in the fall because we don’t have to wait for deep winter dormancy before handling the plants. For shipping the plants are removed from their containers and the soil is gently washed off of the roots, preserving most of the small feeder roots. We make minor root pruning cuts to elimate clumps of circling roots from some plants but typically don’t remove more than about 5-10% of the fine roots, compared to bare root plants which typically lose around 60-70% of the fine feeder roots. Washed root plants are much quicker to establish and are suitable for planting directly in windy locations but because of the higher growing costs and shipping weight will be more expensive than field grown bare root plants. Some plant species that are especially prone to root circling are not grown in containers but only in the field.
For most plant species we choose the growing method that has the highest success rate for that plant’s root structure but some plants can be grown just as well either way so both forms can be listed for sale at once. Under the “availability” section for each plant variety any plants listed by container size (such as 1 gallon, 2 gallon, etc.) are washed root plants while plants listed by height (such as 20-30 inches tall) or any listing saying “field grown” are bare root plants.

Packaging Plants For Shipping

Most plants are shipped wrapped in newspaper, then moistened. Large bundles of plants can be shipped in a single long box. Some plants, usually bamboo, are shipped in their container while others have their roots washed of soil and wrapped in damp paper and plastic. Most plant varieties can be shipped year-round, but sometimes certain plant species or large sizes do best when shipped dormant. You can order these to reserve yours during the summer and then they will be shipped in November when they are ready to go.
Your plants are placed in tight fitting boxes and strapped to the box so they don’t move around and sustain damage. These are 3′ tall Coast Redwoods.


We prune both the tops and the roots of our plants at least once per year while they are growing in our nursery to ensure they develop a strong, dense form. Regular annual pruning goes a long way to ensure a healthy branching structure and this is often a missed step in many nurseries. Pruning a plant back hard after it has been neglected pruning-wise often results in an irregular branch habit or multiple leaders. However, with annual pruning this is not the case and so it is important to start pruning even in the first year of growth. We also prune the roots of our plants every winter which causes them to produce a much more branched structure and helps to elimate tangled masses that hinder future development. Plants that have been root pruned establish themselves much more quickly than root bound plants. Generally, hardwood plants will be pruned in the winter and conifers will be pruned in the summer. Pruning conifers is a little bit trickier because it must be done while the new candles are still young, otherwise it can take an extra year to form a new upright leader bud which slows the next year’s growth rate down.

Pruning For Shipping

Before shipping plants we prune the tops and roots one last time. Conifers will usually have very little top pruning except to balance long branches. Shrubs are usually pruned to around 1-2 feet tall to encourage low branch development and small to medium sized trees are usually pruned to around 36-40 inches. Pruning trees at this height encourages dominant branches to begin forming around 3 feet from the ground which typically looks the best in most situations. However, if you want a tree to have branching start higher (some city codes require trees to not branch below 4 feet) we have longer boxes available. To request taller trees please contact us at least three days before your ship date. Depending on your location and the shipping routes there may be a fee for oversize package handling (usually about $15 for a 60″ box).

Tall trees (Oaks, Ginkgo, large Maples, etc.) are pruned to 40″ to encourage crown development from about 36″ and up
Small and medium trees (short Maples, Redbuds, Stewartia, etc.) are pruned 10-20″ above the prune line from last year
Shrubs (Weigela, Hydrangea, Viburnum, etc.) are pruned to 18″ tall and root pruned one last time

Read More About How Your Plants Are Shipped

All Plants Are Guaranteed To Arrive In Good Condition

If you have any damaged plants please email us at [email protected] and specify which plants were damaged. Please keep all the packaging material in case it needs to be inspected by the shipping company.

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  1. Register and collect saplings – here’s a list of places you can collect saplings from.
  2. Select an area where you would plant the sapling – try to choose an open area that is easily accessible and near you – this way you would be able to watch over the little sapling, helping it grow into a tree! This area should be away from building sites and other kinds of obstructions.
  3. Dig out – dig a deep and wide pit in the ground, two to three times the size of the root ball of the sapling.
  4. Plant the sapling – gently remove the plastic wrapping/shield from the root ball and place the plant gently into the center of the pit. Be careful not to drop the plant!
  5. Fill the pit with soil – once the sapling is in place, hold it firmly with one hand and gently but evenly fill the pit with soil.
  6. Water the sapling – once the pit is covered, pour some water to moisten the soil. Make sure the top soil is neither too dry nor too wet!
  7. Feed your plant – regularly water the plant, provide manure when need be and weed out unwanted growth whenever you notice it.

Don’t forget to tell us about your saplings and how they are growing! Tag @WWFIndia and mention #AdoptATree in your tree photos on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and send us your photos so we can share them with the world!

How To Plant a Sapling Tree

Why plant a sapling?

By now it is apparent to everyone that planting trees are good for the environment. Trees produce oxygen that is needed to sustain life. They also absorb harmful pollutants that would otherwise be adding the problems we have on this earth today. There are so many reasons to plant a sapling tree, and doing it right is just another way to help your environment and have a long-lasting experience with your new plant.

Finding the right area…

The first step to planting a tree in its sapling form is determining the area you are going to be planting it in. You have to find a place that does not interfere with the roots of the tree. To be safe, find an area 15 to 20 feet away from your house, sidewalk, driveway, and other trees. This should also go without saying, but make sure your sapling is not under any power lines. It is also best make sure there are no pipes or wires in the area you are digging in. Even if you don’t dig into the wire or pipe, the roots could eventually reach them, so it’s best to be 100% on where you are digging.

Begin your digging…

The next step is to make the hole. Measure the diameter of the root ball of your sapling. The hole you are digging should be 2 or 3 times as wide as the root ball. For example, if the root ball is 2 foot in length, the hole should have a diameter of 4 to 6 feet. The hole should also be as deep as the height of the root ball. Now that you have your dimensions, it is time to dig. Start by removing the grass on your measured area, and discarding it or planting it elsewhere. Then dig according to your measurements of height. Once you are finished, double check the depth of the hole to ensure you are correct. At this point you may want to treat the soil you dug out. It is recommended to spread superphosphate and fertilizer onto the soil and mix in. Consult the seller when buying your sapling tree to make sure you use the right fertilizer.

Planting your sapling tree in its new home…

Now it is time to plant the sapling tree into the ground. Place the sapling inside your newly-dug hole. Try to remove any excess soil so that you can find the first root from the top. A tree is planted so that the first roots are at or below the surface of soil, and your sapling is no different. Make sure your sapling is in the hole and the first root fits this description. At this point, remove any wrappings or fastenings around the sapling. If there is tan or brown burlap around the root ball, you may leave it, as it will decay within a month (though it can be removed). However, if there is green burlap, remove as much as possible as this burlap is designed to resist decay, and can therefore restrict your sapling’s roots. Once the sapling tree is planted in the ground, refill your hole with the soil and firm it with your foot or shovel to remove any pockets that may have formed.

You’re not done once you’ve got the sapling tree planted!

The sapling tree has now been planted, but the work does not stop there. It is now time to water and mulch the area. Create a crater by making a 6 inch curb with your shovel and then fill the crater with water. Once the water has been completely absorbed by the soil, knock down your curb and smooth it out. Now spread about 3 inches of mulch over the exposed dirt, making sure to keep the mulch away from the trunk of the sapling. This step is necessary because if the mulch is too close to the trunk it could cultivate mold and promote rotting in the sapling. Check out our blog with more instructions explaining how to water a new tree or sapling.

Your saplings future…

You are now done planting the sapling, but you still need to care for it while it is being established. Make sure to water the tree every day for around 6 weeks or hang drip irrigation bags from the trunk. Check the bags regularly to make sure they have water. For more tips on caring for your tree, check the common problems that cause a tree to die in How to Save a Dying Tree.

Tutorials/Tree farming

A time-efficient farm, working for oak and birch trees.

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.


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.

Wood can also be burned into charcoal, a functional, easily renewable substitute to coal.

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 to destroy a leaf block will not wear it out, but the block breaks at the same speed as it would with do if broken with 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.

Which type of tree is best?

Because all six 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 have the most uniform height, and is ideal for automatic farming, making it the best in moderately sized fields.
  • Dark Oak grows extremely quickly, has a larger average yield than oak, and is considerably more compact and safer to harvest than jungle giants.
  • 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.
  • Acacias are ideal for space-efficient farming.
  • 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.

Wood Texture

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.

Tree comparisons

Oak Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Arguably the easiest tree to find.
    • Found in almost every biome.
  • Due to the possibility of large trees and their large number of leaves, they can give more saplings on average.
  • The smallest forms take less space than other trees, and can be grown in very small spaces.
  • Saplings can be found in villager chests.
  • Matches wood in “naturally generated” structures (with some exceptions).
  • Small chance (0.5%) for leaves to produce apples.
  • Very high variation between saplings, ranging from four logs per tree to over twenty.
  • Very commonly the leaves start less than two blocks above ground, so you have to destroy them first in order to get to the log.
  • Large oak trees can be extremely tricky and tedious to fully harvest.
Birch Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Grows quickly.
  • Leaves always appear two or more blocks above ground, making harvesting a little quicker and easier.
  • Consistently sized, slightly larger than small oak trees.
  • Small enough to harvest completely from the ground.
  • Appears in several common biomes.
  • Needs more vertical and horizontal space than the oak.
  • On average, yields the least wood per sapling of all trees, meaning large birch farms require significant horizontal space and a large amount of saplings to be effective.
Spruce Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Tall; gives a lot of wood consistently. The “giant spruce” form (plant 4 saplings in a 2×2 square) can give up to two stacks of wood, and no branches are spawned.
  • Spruce trees are found not only in taiga and variants, but also in extreme hills, making them by far the easiest to get of all 2×2 trees.
  • In the Java edition large spruce trees create podzol, making it possible to combine with a mushroom farm.
  • Small form seems to count other trees as growth obstacles; will not grow within two blocks of another tree. This means that a small Spruce tree farm will need to be extra spacious in order to work.
  • This does not apply to the large form, which will grow adjacent to other trees without problems.
  • Leaves can spawn less than two blocks above ground, sometimes requiring you to destroy the bottom-most leaves in order to reach the wood.
  • Can sometimes generate with few leaves, making sapling yield a little inconsistent as fewer leaves means fewer saplings.
  • The small form can often not be fully harvested from the ground due to it being a little taller than usual for 1×1-size trees.
  • The giant form doesn’t come with vines like the jungle giant, so they must be harvested by digging a staircase up or with the help of ladders
Jungle Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • The “jungle giant” form is very large; four saplings can give up to two stacks of wood along with a decent amount of leaves.
  • Easy and time efficient harvesting. If you harvest upwards in a spiral (or just use ladders), no wait is needed for the vines to grow.
  • If you have any cocoa beans, the tree farm can also double as a cocoa bean farm.
  • Found only in a jungle biome, making it one of the rarest tree types.
  • Saplings drop half as often per leaf block compared to other types of trees, so growing “small” jungle trees is unsustainable. Even jungle giants may occasionally produce fewer than 4 saplings. Use of a Fortune enchanted tool on the leaves will increase the sapling drop rate and can make farming small jungle trees viable.
  • Requires a huge open space, unsuitable for small spaces, indoor, underground, or space-efficient farming.
  • Moderately dangerous to harvest, as you can die from fall damage. If you instead choose to spiral up and get the rest on the way back down (a little safer but still risky), it will take longer to harvest the whole tree. On top of that, jungle giants’ branches will destroy blocks, including bedrock
  • Fully harvesting a jungle giant is, by comparison, a really large lumberjack job, comparable to harvesting several smaller trees in succession—depending on equipment and strategy, it can take a good chunk of a Minecraft day, if not more. And if you’re using wood or stone axes, bring at least two.
  • Annoying inconsistent sprouts of wood coming from the trunk will also have to be harvested.

Acacia Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Drops more saplings and wood than other small trees due to its often two trunks, making it viable for a space efficient, densely grown farm.
  • Only appears in the savanna biome, making it quite a rare tree type.
  • Difficult to harvest due to a rather unusual growth formation.
  • Odd layout of logs means efficient farming requires a larger gap between trees, resulting in more horizontal space.
Dark Oak Trees

Advantages Disadvantages
  • Grow extremely quickly, usually within a few minutes.
  • Dark oaks have a large average yield due to their 2×2 trunk: 42 blocks of wood and 6 saplings.
  • Apples! Like the oak, the dark oak drops apples. They yield about one apple per two trees.
  • Considerably more compact and safe to harvest than jungle giants, only reaching 7-11 blocks in height
  • They require four saplings to plant. Unlike the jungle giants, there is no 1×1 variety of dark oak.
  • Sapling production is a little low, only 1 in 5 (or perhaps fewer) dark oak trees produce saplings plentifully. The remainder average about 4 saplings per tree, making them a difficult choice for a very small tree farm, and the player must be careful to gather all of the saplings dropped. In order to be sustainable, the farm requires a large amount of saplings.

Farming Various Types of Trees

Simple farming

What players need:

  1. At least 4 saplings of any kind
  2. A chest for storage (optional)
  3. 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. They can extend the grid if you like, as long as all the saplings are the same type.

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.

  • 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.
  • Top down is easiest.
    • 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.

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, so 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 .

Space-efficient farming

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.

A space-efficient oak tree farm.

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

Farming spruce trees in an efficient way.

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
  • A tree farm just after planting.

  • A partially grown tree farm.

  • A big tree farm with a roof.

  • A closely planted tree farm.

  • A recently burnt tree farm.

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.

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:
  1. 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.
  2. Cut a two-high notch into one of the oaks, one block above where you currently are, and jump up into it.
  3. Now you can either jump one higher into the jungle or another oak’s trunk after collecting all the logs overhead.
  4. Continue step 3 until you have harvested all the upper logs.
  5. Get rid of the stumps or “pillars” you stood on.
  6. Repeat all steps to content.

Ethoslab tree farm

In his first LP season, episode 51, Etho created an elegant tree-farm in which 24 trees grow side-by-side in a 7×7 square, which is still working today. The following video gives a tutorial on how to create this type of tree-farm.

EthosLab Tree Farm

Note: The effective grow-area of this 7×7 tree-farm can be extended from 24 to 25 by putting a tree above the collection point in the middle of the 7×7 square.

Note 2: Etho uses bone meal to grow the trees instantly in his video, but not using bone meal and waiting works as well.

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)

Frilioth’s Design

Auto tree farm design (breaks all leaves, for oak trees only)

Mumbo Jumbo’s Design

Best auto tree farm design (breaks all leaves, can use any tree type except spruce and dark oak)

1.14 TNT farms, (tntree)

As of update 1.14, it’s possible to make a TNT based tree farm 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 of it one second after it has been damaged. The wither can be trapped in bedrock in any of the dimensions.

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 2×2 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.


EthosLab Tree Farm

In his first LP season, episode 51, Etho created an elegant tree-farm in which 24 trees grow side-by-side in a 7×7 square, which is still working today. The following video gives a tutorial on how to create this type of tree-farm.


  • The effective grow-area of this 7×7 tree-farm can be extended from 24 to 25 by putting a tree above the collection point in the middle of the 7×7 square.
  • Etho uses bone meal to grow the trees instantly in his video, but not using bone meal and waiting works as well.

Aspen Seedling Transplant Info – When To Plant Aspen Seedlings

Aspen trees (Populus tremuloides) are a graceful and striking addition to your backyard with their pale bark and “quaking” leaves. Planting a young aspen is inexpensive and easy if you transplant root suckers to propagate the trees, but you can also buy young aspens grown from seed. If you are interested in aspens, read on for information about when to plant aspen saplings and how to plant aspen saplings.

Planting a Young Aspen

The easiest method of starting young aspen trees is vegetative propagation by means of root cuttings. Aspens do all the work for you, producing young plants from its roots. To “harvest” these saplings, you cut off the root suckers, dig them out and transplant them.

Aspens also propagate with seeds, although this is a much more difficult process. If you are able to grow seedlings or buy some, aspen seedling transplant will be virtually the same as root sucker transplant.

When to Plant Aspen Saplings

If you are planting a young aspen, you’ll need to know when to plant aspen saplings. The best time is spring, after the chance of frost is passed. If you live in a warm area in a hardiness zone higher than zone 7, you should transplant aspens in early spring.

An aspen seedling transplant in spring gives the young aspen ample time to establish a healthy root system. It will need a working root system to make it through the hot summer months.

How to Plant Aspen Saplings

First pick a good site for your young tree. Keep it well away from your home’s foundation, sewer/water pipes and 10 feet (3 m.) away from other trees.

When you are planting a young aspen, you’ll want to position the tree is a spot with sun, either direct sun or partial sun. Remove weeds and grasses in a 3-foot area around the tree. Break up the soil down to 15 inches (38 cm.) below the planting site. Amend the soil with organic compost. Work sand into the mix as well if drainage is poor.

Dig a hole in the worked soil for the seedling’s or sapling’s root ball. Position the young aspen in the hole and fill in around it with extruded soil. Water it well and firm the soil around it. You’ll need to keep watering the young aspen for the entire first growing season. As the tree matures, you’ll have to irrigate during dry spells, particularly in hot weather.

Colorado State University

Lots of preparation, patience and understanding are needed to grow aspen in the urban landscape. Aspen prefer light soils that are acidic and drain well, but these conditions are rarely found in urban areas. Aspen will do best on the north and east sides of buildings.

If the soil where an aspen tree is to be planted has a high content of clay, build a berm of sandy loam 18 to 24 inches high. A berm is a mound or wall of earth. The berm should be mulched and several plants should be planted in the bed.

Nearly all aspen available for sale are collected, meaning they were dug out of the wild with little of their root system. Even after careful preparation and care, aspen still only have a life expectancy of about 25 years in the home landscape.

Expect insects and diseases, some of which have no controls. Blackened leaves towards the late summer and fall are caused by aphid secretion or a leaf spot disease. The leaf spot disease is known as Marssonina leaf spot or aspen leaf spot. The best control is to pick up the leaves, which are the source of reinfection, in the fall and cut away trees and branches to increase air circulation and reduce humidity throughout the aspens.

Orange pimples on the bark indicate the presence of cytospora canker. Cankered branches usually occur on weakened trees and need to be removed.

Oystershell scale is an insect about 1/8” long, brown or gray in color and is in the shape of an oyster shell. The insect feeds on the trunk and branches of the aspen, resulting in a weakened tree. The stage most familiar to the homeowner is the covering of the full-grown female. The covering remains attached to the tree for some time, often, with the overwintering eggs protected beneath the old scale. Overwintering scale can be gently scrubbed away with a plastic covered sponge. Oystershell scale can be difficult to control due to the waxy covering on the insect. Once an individual tree in an aspen grove starts developing deadwood and a thin crown, it should be removed to allow new shoots to develop.

For “Aspen Leaf Spot” refer to message number 1403.
For “Oystershell Scale” refer to message number 1414.

For more information, see the following Colorado State University Extension fact sheet(s).

  • Bacterial Wetwood
  • Aspen and Poplar Leaf Spots
  • Cytospora Canker
  • Aphids on Shade Trees and Ornamental
  • Oystershell Scale
  • Insect Control: Horticultural Oils
  • Poplar Twiggall Fly
  • Trees and Shrubs for Mountain Areas
  • The Science of Planting Trees

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Should Aspen Trees be Planted in Denver?

Who doesn’t love seeing the golden glow of aspen leaves (Populus tremuloides) dancing in the breeze on a mountain hillside? Many gardeners living at Colorado’s lower elevations have been smitten by the quaking leaves of aspen trees and tried to bring some of that mountain magic into their own yard. But doing so reveals lessons in plant ecology, and reminds us that not every plant we want to have in our home landscapes can easily grow there.

Aspens are a “succession” tree, moving into areas where other trees and shrubs were removed by logging, fire, erosion, insects or disease. As a succession species, they are not long lived. Their presence helps lead the way to other longer living trees.

In addition, aspens are highly susceptible to insect damages and diseases. Aspens that were collected in the wild are even more prone to damage and disease, as their root system is either injured or is incomplete during collection. Nursery grown aspens are generally healthier than collected ones, but still will likely succumb to problems and a shortened life.

A diseased aspen tree.

Most arborists and horticulturists advise against planting Aspens along the Colorado’s Front Range. The growing conditions of the Front Range are different than those areas where Aspen thrive naturally. Aspens like to grow in gravelly, moist but well-drained soil with a lower pH (more acidic) that can typically be found at higher elevations. Along Colorado’s Front Range, our soils are typically heavy clay soils that don’t drain well and have a higher pH (more alkaline). Summer weather along the Front Range is hotter and drier than in the mountains, another factor going against the health of Aspens planted east of the high country.

If you really must have the quaking leaves of aspen in your yard, only plant them if you can place them in the north or east sides of your home (due to the afternoon heat of south and west exposures) and only if it is a nursery grown tree. Keep them away from objects that might radiate too much heat to the trees such as paving. Amend the soil with organic matter in an attempt to increase the acidity of the soil, and then mulch the newly planted tree well. You might also consider adding gravel or perlite to the soil before you plant to improve drainage, and reduce the problem of heavy clay soil.

Even if you can adhere to the aforementioned criteria while planting your aspen, it’s not likely your tree will achieve the brilliant gold of the aspens at higher elevations due to differences in soil chemistry, soil texture, soil moisture, day and night temperatures, and sunlight discrepancies at the different elevations. In addition you should be on the lookout for several different diseases and insects that more readily afflict aspens planted out of their native range.

Furthermore, if you want to remove aspen trees that are established in your yard, you may get many suckers (the stems that sprout up from aspen roots) coming up in your yard for many months after you removed the main trunk.

So in my opinion, no, aspen trees should not be planted in the Denver area, because it is not likely they will do well. But if you are aware of the many shortcomings of aspens planted outside of their native range, feel free to give them a try.

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