The saplings come in 6 types: Oak, Birch, Spruce (pine or evergreen), Jungle (redwood), Acacia, and Dark Oak
- Oak is chestnut and has green leaves. The leaf color of these trees is biome-dependent.
- Birch is white with black spots and has emerald leaves.
- Spruce is dark brown with dark green leaves. There are 1x1 and 4x4 variants of the tree. The 4x4 variants spawn in Mega Taiga biomes.
- Jungle trees have a cocoa color to it and it has bright green leaves. The leaf color of these trees is biome-dependent. When 4 jungle saplings are placed in a square and one uses bone meal on it is makes a thick jungle tree found in jungle biomes.
- Acacia trees have a different formation than the rest of the trees and are only found in Savannah biomes. They are an orange color.
- Dark Oak trees have the same texture as regular Oak wood but have a darker shade to them. They are found only found in Roofed Forest biomes and will only grow in 4x4. Because of this, 4 saplings are needed to grow one tree. They are dark brown in color.
Dead bushes may look like saplings, but it is withered and will not grow, even when adjacent to water. Dead bushes are solely used for decoration, and notably, appear in extensive quantities in desert biomes, and can also be found in a flowerpot inside a villager's house of a desert biome.
Saplings can be planted on any Dirt or Grass block and will grow into a new tree if they are exposed to a light level of at least 9 in the block above the sapling, and have at least a certain number of empty blocks, depending on sapling type, above the sapling itself. Normal saplings need a 1x6x1 area, birch saplings need a 5x7x5 area, and pine saplings need a 7x10x7 area. Jungle saplings need either a 5x7x5 area for normal sized trees, and at least a 10x30x10 area for the huge variant. Acacia needs a 3x3x7 minimum area to grow. Dark Oak needs a 5x5x7 minimum area to grow, but needs to be at least 2 blocks away from any wall. A glitch with growing Dark Oak trees allows them to break blocks under the actual tree. Using this glitch, it can remove any block under the Dark Oak, including bedrock.
Saplings are dropped with a random chance when leaves wither, or are destroyed by a player in survival mode. The withering behavior of leaves is explained in detail in the Leaves article. Oak saplings can be found in Village blacksmith Chests, and in some Woodland Mansions (both as an item and as a block). There are various saplings for each tree type as of Beta 1.5. Most tree canopies will drop at least one sapling block, though they may drop more, and large tree canopies should drop several if completely denuded.
Aside from being able to grow into new trees, saplings can be used as a fuel source in Furnaces. They are only able to smelt half an item, which means 2 saplings are needed to smelt a full item. Saplings can also be placed in Flower Pots as a decoration.
- If a player stands on the same block as a placed Sapling as it grows into a tree, wood blocks will grow on top of them, causing suffocation
- It is possible to plant a sapling anywhere, provided dirt or grass is available, however, it cannot grow unless it meets certain requirements.
- It is possible to consider Mushrooms as saplings in Mushroom Island Biomes because Mushroom can grow into huge mushrooms.
- The Dead Bush is a retextured version of the oak sapling.
- Jungle trees can be grown in a 2x2 formation as well as their 1x1 formation. Dark Oak also grows in a 2x2 area, but does not have a 1x1 variant.
- As of the 1.14 - Village and Pillage update, Wandering Traders will sell saplings in exchange for Emeralds.
- Oak trees in real life don't use saplings as starters. They use acorns.