I need several stacks of dark oak saplings.

By efficient, I'm interested in minimizing game time. I have tons of resources, so throw any resources you can think of at the answer if it will help...

I have a dark oak farm, but I get about 5 saplings / tree. Since you need 4 to grow a tree, that doesn't help much. I have not found any AFK or semi-automated harvesting mechanisms, but those are on the table. Aside from going into roofed forests, and clearing it out, is there any other way to acquire this at a faster rate? Fortune enchantments appear to be unhelpful.

Obvious ways to speed things up are:

  • Efficiency V tools
  • Potions of Swiftness / Beacons of haste

But those only help a bit. Preferred solutions are AFK. But anything that I can use to reduce my time at the keyboard would be good...


  • What mods do you use? I don't remember dark oak being a tree in vanilla minecraft.
    – Arperum
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 10:09
  • 2
    @Arperum It is there since the Update That Changed The World (1.7)
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 14:20
  • Ah, haven't played 1.7, I play with mods, and I'm currently having fun in 1.6.4 modded minecraft :)
    – Arperum
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 14:26

5 Answers 5


Honestly, dark oaks require time to farm, and there's not really that much you can do to speed up the process. But you CAN do is:

  • Come prepared with all necessary axes.

  • Plant as many trees as you can at a time.

  • Aqueducts of water gathering into a single place surrounding little islands of the trees could speed up sapling gathering. Also enables you to be afk while the remainder of saplings fall, without worrying about them despawning while you're afk (make sure to have hopper at end of water). The islands would be 2x2, with a single block on the side to jump to if the tree has grown.

  • I'm not a tree expert, but I know there are ways you can modify the height at which trees will grow. Try to make adjacent trees grow at different levels, to optimize the amount of leaves spawned.

  • Yes, diamond efficiency V would help. :)

  • If you're interested in AFKing it, don't worry to destroy the leaves manually.

  • At night you need torches to grow saplings. Put 1 (minimum) on the jump-to block to maximize efficency.

These are pretty much all the ways I can possibly think of, and am 95% there's not much else you can do. Do all of this, and you should increase your efficiency by at least 2%! :P

You can, of course, just find a big dark oak forest and start chopping to your heart's content ("acquire Dark Oak Saplings") but I infer that you mean farming. But if you don't mind a big plain where there used to be forest, this is quite efficient (especially when you come fully prepared, especially with torches)

You can also use bone meal to remove the need to AFK the saplings' growth, but you'd still have to AFK the sapling drops from the leaves.

  • Torches allow the sapling to grow during the night if they cause the sapling to have a light level of 13. Torches provide 14. So if you're using water streams, you need some kind of scaffold to hold up the torches to get them that close.
    – Riking
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 6:05
  • I'm assuming that each island is 4x4, as to allow you to jump onto it when the tree has grown. Or at least 2x2 with an extra block. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 6:09
  • 3
    Of course, if you have a mob farm, just grab tons of bonemeal and supercharge your trees. To minimize personal effort, cut trunks, leave the game for leaves to decay, plant trees, grow them, cut them, repeat.
    – Orc JMR
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 14:23
  • @JamesOfDaPeach Nothing here I'm not already doing, will hold out for another insight. If none comes in a couple days, I'll accept this answer. Thanks!
    – John
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 15:51
  • @John Sadly, there's not really much you can do other than those -- but I might be wrong. Could always be useful to use command blocks! :P Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 15:53

I would recommend using the following combination:

  1. Use bone meal to grow the trees
  2. Use elytra to get on top of tree
  3. Mine the tree with haste II eff V and with fortune III to maximize drop rate
  4. Repeat

You should make around 10 saplings per tree.


According to the Minecraft Wiki, the Fortune enchantment can double the drop rates of Saplings at level three. This is at least the case since version 1.8.

Drop No Fortune Fortune I Fortune II Fortune III
Saplings 5% (1⁄20) 6.25% (1⁄16) 8.33% (1⁄12) 10% (1⁄10)

The best tool for breaking leaves is the hoe (since 1.16, before there was no advantage to using a tool. This is also the first version in which the hoe can be enchanted with Fortune).


Another way to speed up the growing process of the trees is to use bone meal. I believe it requires 7 bone meal (or 2.3 bones) in order to grow the dark oaks.

From there you can harvest the leaves sooner and thus faster.


Since 2015, Youtuber IlMango has created a number of AFK Dark Oak farms. His latest is fairly insane, but does an impressive job of automating all the various steps of harvesting a Dark Oak, and getting sufficient saplings.

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