DF2014:Tree

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This article is about the current version of DF.
"Tree" in other Languages Books-aj.svg aj ashton 01.svg
Dwarven: dák
Elvish: thelire
Goblin: tonspe
Human: akan

Trees are a multi-tile feature that can be found aboveground on all but the most arid or most mountainous of maps, and below ground in the caverns. The types of trees that grow in a given location depend on that location's biome, as different species prefer different conditions. For example, tropical areas often have palm trees, while colder areas feature pines. Underground trees such as nether-caps are an exception, as they will grow anywhere underground. The species of a tree in turn determines its properties, including its structure, the color and density of its wood and what kind of growths it produces. Note also that "trees" in Dwarf Fortress also covers things that are not actually trees, such as palms, large cacti (e.g. saguaros) and large mushrooms (e.g. underground trees).

Trees are used as a source of wood, an essential resource in the game, irreplaceable (or hard to replace) for some applications. Thus the amount of local trees greatly affects fortress development, as without a ready source of wood the player will be forced to rely on trade to get it. Tree growth density on the embark site is determined by its biome, so it's displayed with the rest of the biome properties (temperature, etc.) on the "Choose Fortress Location" screen at embark.

Contents

[edit] Structure

Animation of all z-levels of an Apricot tree

Trees consist of several types of tiles - roots, trunk sections, thick branches, branches, and twigs, that may be covered in a number of "growths" (leaves, needles, flowers, fruit, cones, etc.), depending on species and season. A single tree is a structure that can span multiple tiles of each type in both horizontal and vertical directions. For example, a typical deciduous tree will have a single tile-wide trunk at ground level supporting a multiple-level crown of intertwined trunk sections, branches and twigs covered with leaves. Not all species follow the same scheme, though - palms have a high, naked trunk that doesn't branch and just a tuft of leaves on top of it, and some species can have trunks that are thicker than a single tile at ground level. Trees also have an underground system of roots, but there is only one kind of root tiles and the extent of the root system doesn't seem to vary with species.

Graphically, vertical 1x1 trunk sections resemble wooden columns O. The thicker trunks (2x2 and 3x3) are represented by rounded double-line structures. Above the first ground level the trunk may branch out, producing horizontal trunk sections that resemble wooden walls . These can peter out into thick branches or end directly with branches ¼. The branches can extend further out, ending with twigs ;. A vertical trunk end, if not covered with a branch, is represented by a pointed cap .

Root tiles (¼) overlap a number of underground tiles below each tree. They can be designated for digging, but because they usually use the same brown color as the mining designation rectangle, the designation is not evident (the only exceptions are trees with white roots). Some trees can have multiple tiles of roots, others just the oneVerify.

There are exceptions to the description above. Saguaros don't have any leafy branches or twigs, just a trunk and thick branches. Mushroom cap trees that grow in the caverns underground don't have branches - instead they have a cap consisting of ramps that can be walked up on.

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 thick and regular branches provide a floor-like support for walking. Twigs are too frail to support the weight of a dwarf, but they can be climbed through and jumped over. All kinds of trunk tiles are treated as solid barriers, except trunk tips - they can be climbed through and jumped over like twigs.

On ground level, tree trunks are obstacles that prevent channeling or the creation of walls and other constructions on their tiles. This is problematic for caravan wagons, which require a path at least three tiles wide in order to access your fortress; on heavily forested maps it may be necessary to check depot access (D) every once in a while as trees continue to grow to make sure wagons can get through, and chop down (d-t) the impeding forest if they can't. Later on this can actually become a blessing, as if there is only one or a few pathways to the fortress it makes it easier to route incoming caravans down certain well-defended pathways, instead of allowing them to choose their own way across the map, where they may fall foul of ambushers or worse. It also makes building above-ground constructions more challenging, as any trees in the way must be chopped down first.

[edit] Growths

Growths are the things that grow on a tree, i.e. they are not an essential part of the tree's structure and can be shed or picked without destroying the tree. This includes leaves, needles, flowers, fruit, seed pods, catkins, cones, etc. Each tree species has at least one type of growth, the most common one unsurprisingly being leaves.

The leaves of deciduous trees change color in the autumn, fall before the winter and grow back in the spring. Fallen leaves will color the tiles beneath their trees, turning the forest floor into colorful patchwork.

Trees of fruit-producing species usually grow flowers in spring and fruit later in the year. Flowers will fall in a cloud during the transition from flowers to fruit; the cloud is shown falling, and loo[k]ing at the ground after that will show "<tree> flowers" in addition to other tile contents. Both flowers and fruit appear and fall at set times through the year, so it's possible that a young tree that has never flowered will give fruit.

Fruit can be picked from trees in Adventure mode, Fort mode harvesting is done with stepladder (as long as the fruit-bearing tree is within a plant gathering zone) or by collecting fallen fruits. Fruit can be brewed at still. Cutting a tree with fruit causes the fruits to vanishVerify.

[edit] Chopping down trees

Main article: Woodcutting

Trees can be cut down by dwarves to produce wood. It is enough to designate only one trunk tile for cutting to chop down the whole tree it belongs to. Any trunk tile will do, even those that are above ground, or even a single tile of a multi-tile trunk. As a result, it's impossible to "prune" trees by chopping down only parts of them.

Once a woodcutter is done with the first tile, the tree instantly converts to a number of free-floating logs that fall to the ground in a direction away from the cutter. Cutting a tree from a trunk section above ground level may result in the woodcutter losing their footing and crashing to the ground (similar to having a tile deconstructed under their feet).

[edit] Products

[edit] Wood

Main article: Wood

One of the variation between the different tree species is in the weight and color of their wood. Weight is often a minor concern but when using wood to create objects that will be moved, such as bins or buckets, choosing lighter wood is an advantage as it will be hauled faster. Heavier wood will make wooden weapons and siege engine projectiles more effective, while lighter wooden shields reduce penalties to speed while blocking just as well as heavier shields.

Nonetheless, all types of wood have the same (low) value (beyond the preferences of individual dwarves), although the color of the wood may matter for aesthetic purposes.

[edit] Fruit

Various kinds of tree produce fruit. In dwarf fortress mode, they can be gathered with a stepladder in a designated plant gathering zone. Elves will also bring fruit to trade. Fruit can be eaten, producing seeds.

[edit] Growing trees

Trees grow from saplings, which start growing randomly on non-occupied tiles of a suitable biome; thus chopping down a forest may create a clearing, but within a couple of years a new forest will have grown. Saplings can be killed by heavy foot traffic, but not by flooding — they can survive submergence for extended periods of time and will still grow to maturity once the water level drops to 4/7Verify or lower. Dead saplings will remain for some seasons, and then disappear, more quickly if heavy traffic tramples them away. Many underground trees are called "young <tree>" instead of sapling, but the concept is the same. Saplings will not grow to maturity if their tile contains an item or building (including stockpile designations), though removing the item may cause the tree to spontaneously grow up. Paved roads and farm plots periodically purge all terrain features below them, preventing trees (or shrubs) from growing in unwanted areas. Trees cannot grow on stairs or ramps, making it possible to keep trees out of your plumbing by using up stairs instead of digging (this does not reveal the tile above). Above-ground trees will only grow in areas where there is sufficient soil 1 Z-level beneath them (currently observed to be at least one unmined tile within a two-tile radius); underground trees not only ignore this restriction for dry subterranean soil but will also grow on muddy subterranean stone. Additionally, saplings on soil cavern floors will block the construction of farm plots unless there is also a dusting or pile of mud beneath them.

Trees cannot be specifically "planted"; even if a map is stripped of all trees, new saplings will regrow, randomly and in their own time. Sadly, the elves do not seem to comprehend this. It is possible to farm trees by walling off or engineering a patch of soil and locking it away so your dwarves don't trample all over it, but it will take a long time for the farm to yield results. After you expose the caverns subterranean flora (including trees) will begin to grow on any exposed and previously bare soil within your fortress; this can be annoying when a copse of blood thorns suddenly appears in your sand collection area, but allows you to easily mine out large subterranean tree farms full of colorful subterranean trees.

Interestingly if a tree is designated for for felling and it grows from size 1x1 to 2x2, only the original 1x1 block will be highlighted until it is cut down and when this happens only the 1x1 wood will become available despite the whole tree being removed.

[edit] Standard Trees

These are the trees defined in the file plant_standard.txt. Before v40.0.1, trees were a single-tile feature. Since then, they were heavily redesigned and became multi-tiled. They also now produce growths, some of which can be eaten or cooked.

Map
Tile
Name Deciduous Biome Align Tiles Wood
Density
(g/cm)
Drink Drink
Value1
Eat Cook2 Growths
Mangrove No

Mangrove swamp (Wet)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.830 None No No leaf
flower
fruit
Saguaro No

Any desert (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ roots
0.430 None Yes Yes flower
fruit
Pine No

Taiga, coniferous forest (Dry)

All O trunk
* branches
* twigs
¼ roots
0.510 None No No * needle
* seed cone
* pollen cone
Cedar No

Coniferous forest (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.570 None No No * scale-leaf
* seed cone
* pollen cone
Oak Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.700 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
acorn
Mahogany No

Tropical forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None No No leaf
flower
fruit
Acacia No

Tropical dry broadleaf forest, tropical grassland, tropical savanna, tropical shrubland (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None No Yes leaf
flower
% seed pod
Γ Kapok No

Tropical moist broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.260 None No No leaf
flower
fruit
Maple Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest ,temperate grassland, temperate savanna, temperate shrubland (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.540 None No No leaf
flower
% fruit
Willow No

Temperate, tropical forest, tropical grassland, tropical savanna, tropical shrubland, tropical freshwater swamp, tropical saltwater swamp, tropical freshwater marsh, tropical saltwater marsh (Wet)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.390 None No No leaf
* pollen catkin
* seed catkin
* fruit
Tower-cap No

Wet cavern (Layers 1-2)

All O trunk
O cap
0.600 None No No None
Black-cap No

Wet cavern (Layers 2-3)

All O trunk
O cap
0.650 None No No None
Nether-cap No

Wet cavern (Layers 3)

All O trunk
O cap
0.550 None No No None
Goblin-cap No

Wet cavern (Layers 2-3)

All O trunk
O cap
0.600 None No No None
Fungiwood No

Wet cavern (Layers 1-2)

All O trunk
¼ branches
; twigs
0.600 None No No None
Tunnel tube No

Wet cavern (Layers 2-3)

All O trunk 0.500 None No No None
Spore tree No

Wet cavern (Layers 2-3)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
0.600 None No No None
Blood thorn No

Cavern (Layers 3)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
1.250 None No No None
Glumprong No

Not freezing (Dry)

Evil O trunk
¼ roots
1.200 None No No None
Feather tree No

Not freezing (Dry)

Good O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.100 None No Yes down
% egg
Highwood No

Not freezing (Dry)

Savage O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.500 None No No leaf
flower
Larch Yes

Taiga, temperate conifer forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.590 None No No **** needle
* seed cone
* pollen cone
Chestnut Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.430 None Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
* seed catkin
* burr
Alder Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.410 None No No leaf
* pollen catkin
* seed catkin
* cone
Birch Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.650 None No No leaf
* pollen catkin
* seed catkin
Ash (tree) Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None No No leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Candlenut No

Tropical forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.140 None No Yes leaf
flower
nut
Γ Mango tree No

Tropical forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.520 Mango wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
fruit
Γ Rubber tree No

Tropical moist broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.490 None No No leaf
Γ Cacao tree No

Tropical moist broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.430 None No Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Coconut palm No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ roots
0.680 None Yes Yes * leaf
spathe
fruit

Notes:

1 This is the value for a stack of 5 units, which is the number rendered from a single fruit.
2 Anything that can be cooked is edible afterwards.

[edit] New Trees

"New" trees are defined in the file plant_new_trees.txt. The wood density of these trees have not been researched yet, so they all have a density of 0.600g/cm³. Most of these trees are fruit/nut-bearing trees and can be harvested for food and other uses.

Map
Tile
Name Deciduous Biome Align Tiles Wood
Density
(g/cm)
Drink Drink
Value1
Eat Cook2 Growths
Γ Abaca3 No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ roots
0.600 None No No leaf
flower
Γ Banana3 No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
¼ roots
0.600 Banana beer 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Carambola No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Carambola wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Cashew No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Coffee No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Durian No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Durian wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Guava No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Guava wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Papaya No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Papaya wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Paradise nut No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Rambutan No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Rambutan wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Tea No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None No No leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Avocado No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Lime No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Pomelo No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Citron No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Orange No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Bitter orange No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Finger lime No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Round lime No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Desert lime No

Tropical grassland, tropical savanna, tropical shrubland (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Kumquat No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Custard-apple No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Custard-apple cider 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Date palm No

Tropical

All O trunk
¼ roots
0.600 Date wine 10☼ Yes Yes * leaf
flower
% fruit
Lychee No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Lychee wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Macadamia No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% nut
Olive No

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Γ Pomegranate Yes

Tropical (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Pomegranate wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Almond Yes

Temperate broadleaf forest (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
flower
% nut
Apple Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Apple cider 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Apricot Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Apricot wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Bayberry No

Temperate, taiga (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Bayberry wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
* seed catkin
% fruit
Cherry Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Cherry wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Ginkgo Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
% seed
Hazel Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
% nut
Peach Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Peach cider 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Pear Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Perry 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Pecan Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
% nut
Persimmon Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Persimmon wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Plum Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Plum wine 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Sand pear Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 Sand pear cider 10☼ Yes Yes leaf
flower
% fruit
Walnut Yes

Temperate (Dry)

All O trunk
thick branches
¼ branches
; twigs
¼ roots
0.600 None Yes Yes leaf
* pollen catkin
flower
% nut

Notes:

1 This is the value for a stack of 5 units, which is the number rendered from a single fruit.
2 Anything that can be cooked is edible afterwards.
3 These trees do not produce wood when cut.

[edit] Bugs

  • Trees grow through bridges. Bug:7872
  • Cutting down trees can leave a hole in the floor if the layer below has been mined. Bug:8469
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