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To make the most of my wood farming I'd like to plant the tree type that will give me the most wood yield.

(I know the types have different spacing requirements- does that play a part in the answer?)

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Is this the actual question you want to ask or do you really want to know the best way to farm wood? –  Nick T Dec 1 '11 at 2:29
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5 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

If you build tree farms underground plain trees are the best. If you keep the ceiling 7 blocks high the whole tree will be harvestable from the ground. Plain trees can grow when planted right next to each other unlike birch trees. Pine trees will not grow with a 7 block high ceiling.

However, if you plant plain trees too close together they won't grow much leaves. So it is easy to run out of saplings. I suggest planting them in rows and leave a block or two between the rows.

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A tree farm is the best way to get the most wood as you can jam the trees in and not waste time moving any more than you have to. –  Nick T Dec 1 '11 at 2:28
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In my experience, birch trees are the most practical for wood farms.

While they aren't as tall as pine or plain trees; they have the very desirable property of always being harvestable without building; making harvesting fast, and avoiding floating branches.

If you don't mind building a bit for getting at the wood, pine trees are probably a better choice, but they are less predictable.

Normal trees should be avoided at all costs, at least if you value your time and/or sanity.

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The problem with birch is low density. The have to be spaced out. –  Zoredache Dec 2 '11 at 4:36
    
Specifically, birch and pine trees must have 2 blocks of empty-or-filled-with-leaves space between their trunk and any other tree trunk or wall. This means the optimal pattern for birch or pine trees is a square or slanted grid with a tree every 3 blocks. –  Kevin Reid Dec 3 '11 at 13:40
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In my experience, pine trees are great. They are the tallest, and thus give the most wood.

@WillihamTotland mentions you have to 'build' to get all the wood - I guess he probably meant that pines are so tall, you can't chop the wood directly from the ground.
I always circumvented this issue by planting the trees next to one (or two stacked) blocks of dirt. This way you only have to climb on them and harvest all the wood. 2 blocks were sufficient in all cases.
You don't have any hassle with building the steps each time you chop wood and you get far more wood blocks than you would get from the same number of different type of trees.

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if you are going for pure volume, oak gives the most wood when you get the massive trees, however they are frustrating to harvest. and in the w49 snapshot they drop apples at 1/256.

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The large jungle trees definitely yield the most wood compared to any other tree, and they normally only contain up to 4 wood blocks not in the central trunk.

The issue with these is that it requires 4 saplings and a bone meal to grow them and cannot be left to grow naturally (small jungle trees will be made) and that it can be difficult to get to the top of them, one way of solving this is to use ender peals to reach the top or to dig a spiral staircase to the top.

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The bone meal is not strictly required - 4 saplings will naturally grow into a large tree if there is enough space around them. I farm these big trees and I find a pair of shears makes it easy to rearrange the vines into a ladder to get to the top and harvest downwards. –  Kurley May 14 '12 at 16:05
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