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When do leaves have the biggest chance of dropping saplings: when I break the leaves or when I just break the wood and let the leaves die out?!

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Dlanod can i add you as a friend or help you in any way?! – RustyMembers Aug 11 '12 at 8:30
RustyMembers, @dlanod was just editing your question, to improve it - they were helping you. As part of the StackExchange sites, people can edit questions/answers if they think it need improvement - the faq talks about this in more detail. – Cyclops Aug 11 '12 at 11:06
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Nothing affects the chance for sapling drops. Saplings have a chance to drop when a leaf block either decays naturally from destroying the tree, or when you manually break the leaf block yourself. Either method produces the same results with the same chance of a sapling drop.

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It doesn't matter at all.

Someone on the Minecraft Forum even looked at the (decompiled?) source code to confirm it.

And there's a "myth busting" episode on this topic by Xisuma:

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