I've started trying my hand at tree farming (I was starting to reach a tipping point where cutting trees was affecting the aesthetic of my base island). After an initial few rounds cutting trees and smashing leaves I felt like my setup was going to work well.
However, of late I've been getting fewer than one sapling per tree. Obviously that isn't sustainable for long and I've had to go back to taller trees (far from my farm) that I had previously chopped and build temporary dirt towers to reach the floating leaves I had left behind.
I've previously assumed (and not read anything to the contrary) that saplings were dropped randomly so perhaps I'm just getting a string of 'tails' and ascribing it non-randomness but it certainly feels like there must be some pattern to getting saplings that I was initially following by accident and am failing to follow now.
So is there any way to increase sapling output, such as by using different tools (sword?), time of day, whether I cross my eyes in or out, etc?