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Trees can be found on almost any playable map. Depending whether trees are scarce or dense, they can be a great renewable source of wood. The density of growth is determined by the biome, and those are visible on the pre-embark screen by hitting F1, F2 etc. Density does not change - there are no climate shifts during game play.
There are many different varieties that grow in various different types of biomes. The only difference between different types of trees is the (usually very minor) difference in the weight of the log or item produced, and the color of the wood from underground "trees" - otherwise all trees are identical, equal in usefulness and value.*
- (* Note that preferences can alter a dwarf's perception of the value of items made from a type of wood that they prefer.)
Viewed on their same z-level, many different sub-types of trees have their own symbol, such as
⌠. Some share the same symbol, but since the only difference is for preferences, this is not a significant problem. (See table, below, for tree/symbol pairs.) For most purposes, a tree is a tree.
Trees viewed from one z-level higher look like coloured rectangles (
■ ), appearing identical to coloured blocks floating in the air. Deciduous trees will change colour to red or yellow in autumn (
♠ ), and lose their leaves in winter (
╞ ) (controlled by the [AUTUMNCOLOR] tag.) This does not affect their usefulness - they may be cut down in any season, and produce the same end result.
Trees are currently not a source of food or other material, so it is not possible to harvest mangos, maple syrup, nuts, rubber, etc.
Harvesting or Removing
Trees are a type of map tile that forms a solid barrier, like stone. Trees (but not saplings) will block movement, and prevent designation of channeling, walls and other constructions. Saplings on soil cavern floors will, however, block the construction of farm plots unless there is also a dusting or pile of mud beneath them. Caravans can be especially vulnerable to being blocked by trees, since wagons require a path 3-tiles wide and cannot pass within 1 tile of a tree. Trees do not form a floor on the level above them (creatures cannot walk "on top of" trees), though both creatures and items can get stuck on top of trees if they manage to be thrown there.
They must be designated for removal from the designations menu option "chop trees", which will instruct dwarves with the wood cutting labor enabled to grab an battle axe and begin chopping down the tree. Once cut down, they become one wood log, which is movable and can be hauled by enabling the wood hauling labor on any dwarf and designating a wood stockpile (Wood hauling is enabled by default).
Trees grow from saplings, which start growing randomly on tiles of a suitable biome. Saplings can be killed by heavy traffic, but not by flooding - they can survive for extended periods of time and can grow to maturity once the water level drops to 4/7[Verify] or lower. Dead saplings will remain for some seasons, and then disappear - or heavy traffic will trample them away. To grow from a sapling to a tree takes 3 years. Trees do not need to be (and can't be) "planted" - even if a map is stripped of all trees, new saplings will regrow, randomly and in their own time. Sadly, the elves do not seem to comprehend this.
Saplings will not grow to maturity if their tile contains an item or building (including stockpile designations), though removing the item may cause the tree to spontaneously grow up. Paved roads and farm plots periodically purge all terrain features below them, preventing trees (or shrubs) from growing in unwanted areas. Trees cannot grow on stairs or ramps, making it possible to keep trees out of your plumbing by using up stairs instead of digging (this does not reveal the tile above). Above-ground trees will only grow in areas where there is sufficient soil 1 Z-level beneath them (currently observed to be at least 1 unmined tile within a 2-tile radius, similar to [WET] trees and shrubs near rivers and ponds); underground trees not only ignore this restriction for dry subterranean soil (since version 0.31.19) but will also grow on muddy subterranean stone.
While it is not possible to plant trees directly, walling off or engineering a patch of muddy soil underground and breaching a cavern to allow spores in is a decent method of growing trees safely. See tree farming for more information.
List of Trees
|Tree Name||Tile||Biome / Habitat||Alignment||Deciduous||Density (g/cm3)||"Likes them for their..."|
||Tropical Dry Broadleaf Forest
||Any Temperate Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||Yes||0.410||catkins|
||Any Temperate Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||Yes||0.620||flying keys|
||Any Temperate Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||Yes||0.670||catkins|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 2-3)||All||No||0.650||gloomy appeal|
||Subterranean Cavern (layer 3)
||Tropical Moist Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.500||flowers|
||Any Tropical Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.500||nuts|
||Temperate Conifer Forest
Tropical Conifer Forest
||Any Temperate Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||Yes||0.500||smelly catkins|
||Not Freezing||Good (Dry)||No||0.100||feathery leaves|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 1-2)||All||No||0.600||fine grain|
||Not Freezing||Evil (Dry)||No||1.200||living shadows|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 2-3)||All||No||0.600||stunning color|
||Not Freezing||Savage (Dry)||No||0.500||magnificence|
||Tropical Moist Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.500||buttresses|
Temperate Conifer Forest
||Any Tropical Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.500||sweet-smelling flowers|
||Any Tropical Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.600||loose inflorescences|
||Temperate Broadleaf Forest
|All (Dry)||Yes||0.755||autumn coloration|
||Mangrove Swamp||All (Wet)||No||0.500||roots|
||Subterranean Cavern (layer 3)||All||No||0.550||coldness to the touch|
(wood has [MAT_FIXED_TEMP:10000])
||Any Temperate Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||Yes||0.700||acorns|
||Any Tropical||All (Dry)||No||0.500||leaves|
Temperate Conifer Forest
Tropical Conifer Forest
||Tropical Moist Broadleaf Forest||All (Dry)||No||0.500||branch shedding|
||Any Desert||All (Dry)||No||0.500||amazing arms|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 2-3)||All||No||0.600||raining spores|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 1-2)||All||No||0.600||great size|
||Subterranean Cavern (layers 2-3)||All||No||0.500||curving trunk|
Any Tropical Forest
Tropical Freshwater Swamp
Tropical Saltwater Swamp
Tropical Freshwater Marsh
Tropical Saltwater Marsh
|All (Wet)||No||0.420||sad appearance|
- Good/evil plants/trees don't appear (feather trees, glumprongs, sliver barbs, and sun berries)Bug:4133