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I've created a wooden tower with wood platform bridges to find floating islands. As a result, I need a lot of wood and my supply is running low.

I had actually planned for this and created a tree farm, but it isn't very productive. I set it up as follows, which repeats across a leveled "field" wide enough for forty saplings total. I know the torches aren't necessary — I used them as a ruler when laying everything out and left some in for looks.

tree farm

Unfortunately, this seems to produce about one tree per game week or less, which is painfully slow compared to my needs. My suspicion is that the tall grass which grows constantly is blocking the growth of trees, which I know need some room around them. I try to "weed" the farm pretty regularly, but grass starts regrowing by the time I get from one end to the other.

tree farm, overgrown

What can I do differently to make my tree farm more efficient?

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I usually create jungle biomes for wood farms, since they will spawn trees by themselves. –  oKtosiTe Jun 7 '12 at 14:49
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4 Answers

up vote 11 down vote accepted

From the Terraria wiki page on Trees:

Growing conditions

Planting an acorn in grass will create a Sapling that will eventually grow into a tree of a random size and shape. Saplings can only grow under the following conditions:

  1. A planted acorn can only be planted on a dirt block covered with grass, corrupt grass, crimson grass, hallow grass, a mud block covered with jungle grass, or on snow.
  2. The acorn requires one space of open ground to either side.
  3. There must be at least two open tiles between saplings or only one will grow into a tree. This matches the previous rule, i.e. each acorn needs both adjacent tiles free, which means the closest two trees can be is with two tiles between them.
  4. The acorn requires at least 32 feet (i.e. 16 tiles) of vertical clearance to grow into a tree.
  5. An acorn will not grow indoors - all background walls or overhanging ledges must be removed, and if you have a ceiling it must be at least 32 feet above the block where the acorn was planted as measured by a Depth Meter (e.g, if you are planting an acorn at 300 feet above, there may only be blocks at 332 feet or higher directly above it in order for it to grow into a tree).
  6. Acorns will not grow in the presence of torches, wood platforms or sunflowers within its 2-block radius.
  7. Saplings must be off-screen in order to become trees. They will not grow when currently in view, unlike most other plants which can spawn while you watch.

Saplings can be destroyed with a Pickaxe.

So, you can't grow a tree at the edge of a step or cliff, or next to a step or cliff, or at the edge of a patch of grass, even though you can plant acorns there. While trees can, very rarely, grow a distance of three tiles apart (two empty columns between them), they grow much faster at a distance of four tiles apart (with three empty spaces between them). For these reasons, it is recommended to plant acorns every four tiles on a long flat row of surface grass. Tiles more than 14 units above the planted grass do not have any effect on tree growth, so an optimal tree farm can have multiple 15-tile high levels."

You seem to have your acorns spaced correctly, there are no walls, and I assume you have enough head room. Although it's not explicitly mentioned in the wiki, your torches may be keeping the trees from growing. Try removing them. At least some of the acorns should grow to full trees in a matter of minutes.

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I pulled the torches and trees started going off like popcorn. I guess I'll need to rearrange my lighting. ^.^ –  Ben Blank Jun 2 '11 at 1:47
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Terraria wiki guide on Gardening

By placing a dirt wall inside the layer of grass blocks (not behind the tree, the block below the tree), one can prevent tall grass from spawning, maximizing efficiency. The dirt wall should peek out from behind the grass blocks and be visible behind the tree, but not actually being in the block behind the tree. The dirt wall should be behind every block of grass, not just the one under the tree.

So place one dirt wall behind the grass that the trees are on, so it just barely sticks out, and there will be no tall grass and you'll never have to weed again.

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This is a genius tip. Thanks for sharing! –  Jonah Bishop 1 hour ago
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It is the weeds. If something is beside the sapling it will Not grow.

Here is a picture of the right side of my tree farm (something like this exists in every world I have played in so far).

enter image description here

You can weed, plant and harvest the trees from the lower level. Often when I go through and plant my trees and weed them, I will have a tree fully grown by the time I am done, if not two. This has always exceeded my usage of wood, which can be excessive at times.

It seems giving the grass covered dirt two directions to 'sprout' in (up and down as vines) gives the trees a much better chance. I would NOT recommend doing this to your entire 40 tree area (Thats 480 blocks to dig out or so :)). But give it a try on one section and see if it helps.

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I just know from experience that to plant a tree, these requirements must be met:

1.) There must be nothing nearby(you don't need to babysit the trees all the time, just clear the weeds once a game day). 2.) There must be a patches of grass nearby(you don't need to worry about this,since they will grow by themselves). 3.) There must be no wall and the trees must not be underground.

I may not be entirely correct and if you still have difficulty growing trees after meeting these requirements, check this out http://terraria.wikia.com/wiki/Acorn.

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