My base started on a mountain. I dismantled the wagon and made a large meeting area on two cliffs below. However it seems like that my units like to climb trees. In fact, one of my miners was found stuck in a tree rather than digging but eventually went down. I've searched dwarffortresswiki but only came across Adventure Mode. Is this a feature?


  • Maybe they really don't want to swim in water anymore... Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 12:12
  • Climbing is a new feature valid for adventure and fortress mode.
    – jnovacho
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 13:02
  • 3
    What version is this in? There've already been some additional changes to the climbing logic between 40.01 and 40.08. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:00
  • 1
    @Raven I'm using the LNP for linux, 0.40.06r4
    – user62059
    Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:16
  • Not sure but I have this problem as well. And it's a very big problem for me. At some point, I noticed a lot of work stopped being done. And a week later, I noticed a lot of dwarves dying from dehydration. This was very confusing to me, cause they were all found to be stuck in trees. And when I say a lot of dwarves, I'm talking 30 at a time. All stuck in trees all over the place for no reason. I don't know why they climbed the tree, nor do I know why they can't get back out. But they're doomed to die up there. They won't leave no matter what.
    – Sjana
    Commented Jan 7, 2023 at 17:46

4 Answers 4


Climbing trees is meant to be a feature if your dwarfs can't get to their objective any other way. However, their aggressiveness in climbing up a tree and refusing to come down is a known bug. Often changing their labors around temporarily, or temporarily giving another dwarf the job they refuse to do, is enough to snap them back to reality. Sometimes they're stuck up there forever. This is DWARF FORTRESS!

  • @remyabel The bug tracker comments also indicates that creating a burrow and assigning the stuck dwarf to that might make him come down...
    – user76919
    Commented Sep 26, 2014 at 2:08

Its a feature. On the wiki it says:

Trees can be climbed in both fortress and adventurer mode. In densely wooded areas, the overlapping tree crowns can form a continuous canopy that can be traversed by walking, climbing and/or jumping. Both types of branches provide floor-like support for walking, but twigs are too frail to support the weight of a dwarf. All kinds of trunk tiles are treated as solid barriers, except trunk tips - they can be walked and jumped over.

I couldn't find any source where this is concerned as an issue so its not really a problem.

In adventurer mode you can climb them yourself by pressing H to first hold on it and then moving by pressing the movement keys, but I guess you already figured out.

"tree" on dwarf fortress wiki

  • You have now found a source, mentioned right here, so it's now really a problem. Commented Aug 13, 2014 at 15:43

I think this is a feature and DF treats leaves and branches as normal pathable area. Nothing extraordinary or harmful about it, or at least I haven't encountered a case that would hurt (me).

It makes for funny situations in combat - I once had a squad of dorfs chasing a wereelephant through several trees, until it got too tired and slowed down.


This just happened to me, for some reason no one was chopping the tree and the staircase wasn't working so I just spawned in some water on the tree and it pushed the dwarf off it and onto the ground.

  • But do you know what caused it ?
    – Oak
    Commented Mar 20, 2016 at 0:34

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