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SMP servers run continuously. Does that mean that trees (and cacti, and sugar canes, and crops) grow always, even when no one is online? or do they only grow if their chunks are loaded?

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I believe they actually have to be loaded in memory, going by this page from the Minecraft Wiki:

Trees will only grow if they are planted on a chunk of the map that is loaded into memory. If you plant saplings and then explore another more distant area of your world for a few Minecraft days, they will still be saplings when you return.

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  • And when are they loaded into memory? Only when someone is online? – Denilson Sá Maia Jan 29 '11 at 0:07
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    @Denilson Sa -- Yes. It means at least one person is within the however many chunk-radius the game uses at a time. – Raven Dreamer Jan 29 '11 at 3:36
  • Don't forget that you could get Bukkit and use a world-anchor. – user28379 Dec 5 '12 at 1:55

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