What tree species in real life is each Minecraft tree based off of? Why?

Discussion in 'General Minecraft Discussion' started by We3_MPO, Mar 18, 2023.

  1. What do you think? Here are my guesses.

    Oak - white oak - They look fairly similar to the white oaks of Eurasia and North America as well as the closely related live oaks of the Americas. They also generate in almost any biome that isn't frozen, including even the extremely hot wooded badlands and extremely dry flower forests, which would be more expected of a drought-resistant oak species like plateau live oak than a conventional white oak.

    Spruce (small and large) - white spruce - This is one of the most common, cold-hardy and heat-tolerant spruce species in the world, which can be either large or moderately-sized depending on the environment and subspecies. They look very similar, too, and nothing physically prevents you from planting spruce saplings in a hot/dry environment in Minecraft.

    Birch - silver birch or river birch - Silver birch looks strikingly similar to the birch trees in Minecraft and can grow in cold and temperate areas alike. River birch also looks similar to a lesser degree and can grow in temperate and warm (even tropical) regions alike. Indeed, birches in Minecraft have their own biome in temperate regions, closely resembling the mild birch taigas of Iceland that progress to alpine tundra similar to the meadow in the interior highlands, and are present in regular forests that generate in cold, temperate and lukewarm areas of Minecraft alike. They're also present in the dark forests that are probably based off of the mild, dense rainforests of Western Europe, which again have silver birch trees in real life.

    Jungle (small) - cocoa tree - I have little doubt about this one. Cocoa beans are sourced from this tree IRL. Indeed, cocoa beans in Minecraft can only grow on jungle logs and only naturally generate on the stems of small jungle trees.

    Jungle (large) - unknown - This one is really tough for me to guess. It could easily be many trees found in tropical rainforests as well as subtropical rainforests and austral temperate rainforests like the bayous near the Gulf of Mexico, the Appalachian Rainforest, parts of Japan, much of New Zealand, parts of China, parts of Australia, parts of northern India, the Valdivian Rainforest, etc. The wood, large size, broad canopy, lush color and pinkish wood could describe some magnolias, laurels, walnuts, hickories or other similar-looking tropical or austral trees.

    Acacia - umbrella acacia and koa - A Minecraft block of the week article pointed out that acacia trees in Minecraft have branch patterns similar to Africa's umbrella acacia (which isn't actually an acacia but was long believed to be), while the wood is very similar to the koa tree from Hawaii (which is a true acacia). That could also explain why they're native mostly to the dry savannas in Minecraft, yet windswept savannas can occasionally generate in more humid areas of deserts, jungles or temperate biomes as well.

    Dark oak - black oak - The dark oak in Minecraft undoubtedly looks very similar to the black oak of North America, which was acknowledged in a Minecraft block of the week article and has been widely speculated to be such by Minecraft fans. This is particularly bizarre if the dark forest really is based off of Europe's Celtic Rainforest and the like.

    Bamboo - unknown - There are many species of bamboo IRL that look visually similar to one another. However, I seriously doubt that bamboo in Minecraft is based off of the three subtropical species in southeastern North America; they're too small, not widely known and not much to choose from.

    Azalea - great rhododendron - The Caves and Cliffs update brought many surprises, of which perhaps the most underrated yet mysterious is Minecraft's azalea tree. I think it being introduced in that specific update, the size of a small tree, pink-flowered and exclusive to humid areas of any temperature was a dead giveaway, though. It's probably based off of the great rhododendron, which can have white or purple flowers but is more often pink, is one of the few tree-sized rhododendrons and is common in parts of the Appalachia that are cave-dense and very humid like Tennessee and parts of Alabama and Georgia. Also, great rhododendrons IRL are native to warm and cold regions alike as long as it's humid enough, just as azalea trees in Minecraft are.

    Mangrove - black mangrove - Coincidentally or not, my next guess is another Alabama native. Black mangrove trees are native to the coastal areas of the Sahara and Sonoran deserts, so they can clearly tolerate very low humidity. They're also native to the Gulf coastal areas of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, requiring them to potentially survive frosts - even hard freezes - for up to 12 hours. Mangrove trees in Minecraft indeed aren't humidity-limited and can generate in any severely eroded warm or lukewarm area.

    Cherry - weeping cherry - The visual similarity is striking, although they're unknown in the wild IRL. They're also widely cultivated, not only in their origin of Japan but also in many Western temperate and subtropical areas of the northern hemisphere, with the District of Columbia being especially notorious for them.
    UltiPig and Jay2a like this.
  2. Would be really cool to see pictures comparing the ingame trees with their IRL counterparts
    LindenNZ and We3_MPO like this.
  3. I'd love that too!