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Trees are a type of plant. They can either be native to the biome or planted by the player in a growing zone. Native trees are immune to blight, and will spawn in as seed from the map edges. Teak and Cecropia are native to Tropical biomes, Oak and Poplar are native to temperate biomes, Cacti and Poplar are native to Arid biomes (only Cacti in Extreme Desert), and Birch and Pine are native to colder biomes (bar Ice Sheet). Cacti are unique in the respect that they won't give a flying hoot as to what ground they happen to grow on; as they have a fertility sensitivity of 0% and minimum fertility of 5%.
Trees have four types of natural enemies, which fall into two categories. Their natural predator is the Thrumbo and the Alphabeaver, and some biologists have classified "Fire" as a third type of natural enemy. The other type of enemy are colonists, who hunts trees for their wood. It is unclear exactly what colonists use it for, but their range of usage reportedly varies from construction material, weaponry and rather sinisterly as food for a fueled generator. Humans are by far the biggest threat to trees, their unrelenting hunger for flooring and dining chairs has often been cited as the leading cause of deforestation. Some have had success in taming trees, going so far as to train them to grow in neat rows in intricately designated growing zones. For some bizarre reason; the Saguaro Cactus 'seed' is so elusive that Cacti cannot be grown in growing zones - and no man has ever been known to grow these sacred spiny plants.
Vulnerable trees can be brutally murdered at 40% growth to obtain 50% of their coveted yield. Cacti can be cut at 20%. Note that the Growth Time in the below table assumes 24hr growth. Since trees, as all plants, rest between the hours of 19h and 6h, actual growth time is longer. Also note that environmental factors such as temperature and light levels can further negatively influence growth speed.
If the ambient temperature drops below freezing, trees will cease to grow until back into their comfortable range again (including Pine trees that are native to cold biomes). Some pansy trees will instantaneously shed all of their leaves at -2°C, sturdier specimens will hold out until -10°C. This range differs from tree to individual tree. If the temperature remains at a comfortable level for at least a day, their leaves will magically reappear.
Additionally; Humans can also tactically utilise trees as some form of cover, being marginally more effective than hideous Rock Chunks, but not as effective as rugged sandbags and sturdy walls. They do this so by standing against the tree trunks and popping off shots, while the opposition rains their lead into the fragile, yet sturdy bark, and also the skulls, organs and limbs of those 'protected'. Alternatively, the mysterious Humans may be moved from tree-to-tree with so-called 'Melee Weapons' (or simply their 'Fists'), until they eventually reach their opponents (or get shot in the process) and hack or bash them to pieces or a pulp respectively while they hopelessly cower, using their very tree as 'cover'.