The most widely read1) resource on all things related to treebreeding, Forestry Inc.'s “Forester's Almanac” (13th revised Edition) keeps its promise to introduce the reader to the basics of arboriculture. Its editors have poured at least an hour's worth of effort into it during coffee breaks. It is worth its price in copper and comes adequately recommended. 6/10
Handbook Reviews Monthly
Generations of foresters have wondered at the noticeable lack of diversity in Minecraftia's tree species. Common theory among scientists seems to be, that a series of parasites wiped out all but the most hardy of trees ages ago. However, due to the demands of builders everywhere, foresters have taken the breeding successes of beekeepers as cause to dabble into treebreeding. Early endavours have proven fruitful and this almanac will attempt to lay out the known basics for the beginning forester.
Foreword, 1st Edition
Part 1: Trees
The “Multimedia Edition” of the Almanac includes the following documentary by thornofnight:
Part 2: Pollination
There are many misconceptions among laymen as to how tree breeding works. The common adage of “the birds and the bees” has many people confused, as it is partly wrong. You can't breed trees with birds! However, you may be happy to hear that almost any bee is able to cross-pollinate trees of different species. Though experienced forester will usually recommend some of the more high-end bee breeds like rural or industrious for dedicated tree breeding - or have bred their own specialised bees for that purpose - the beginner can rest assured that even the most mundane of bees will do an adequate job at pollinating nearby trees.
The underlying principle is rather simple: Set down apiaries near trees of different species and keep them stocked with working bee queens. After a while - depending on the quality of the bee and the density of the surrounding forest - you will start to see some leaves change colour. These leaves have been pollinated by another tree with a different genetic makeup. Just break them and hope for a new sapling to drop.
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Part 3: Mutations
Cross-pollination naturally occurs between tree types when there are helpful insects nearby. Bees are known to carry pollen from one tree to another, and butterflies taking repose on leaves are known to take pollen along with them as well. By having two varieties of trees near each other and within range of an active bee colony, it is possible that they will be crossbred, and perhaps have offspring that will mutate.
Part 4: The Treealyzer
Want to learn more about your saplings? Do you like all the info given by your Beealyzer? Well you've come to the right place. You craft the Treealyzer in the same way you would a Beealyzer, but you must replace the four tin, with four copper. When you right click on the handy dandy Treealyzer, a GUI opens that is very similar to the Beealyzer. Provide your treealyzer with honey drops, and the sapling you want to analyze, and voila! you will be told the species, the amount of saplings you can get, how fast it grows, how tall, the width of the trunk, the fruit yield, and the sappiness. If you move the sapling to the second section, you will be told what biome the sapling thrives in, and the fruit type it can yield. The third page will show a picture of the possible productions, and the fourth page will show any mutations that you have learned.