Coal trees are among the strangest trees you can find in Stardew Valley. They are a rare occurrence, and many seasoned players have never experienced coal trees first hand. This article will provide you with a brief overview of coal trees, including some mods that can help you generate them more easily.
How to Obtain Coal Trees
Coal trees are the outcome of lightning strikes hitting fruit trees. Lightning occurs during thunderstorms and is randomly generated to hit a square of land anywhere across Stardew Valley once every ten minutes. If lightning strikes a fruit tree, the tree’s appearance will visibly change and become darker. It will even start smoldering! Once you go to sleep and wake up, the tree that was struck will have coal growing on it instead of fruit. Each tree will give you one piece of coal when hit it with an axe.
Some seasoned players have found that if they place a lightning rod within a 3×3 square of a fruit tree, there is a greater likelihood that that tree will be struck by lightning. Other players have found that this has led to mixed results, with most lightning strikes simply striking the rods and having no impact on the fruit tree.
Still, being able to manufacture a renewable source of coal right at your doorstep seems like a good alternative to spending hours of time in the coal mines farming Dust Sprites. Each coal tree drops a single piece of coal each day.
The Mechanics of Coal Trees
Coal trees are a rare occurrence in Stardew Valley, and only form after lightning strikes fruit trees. If non fruit trees are struck by lightning, they become a stump. Another point to remember is that fruit trees will only be struck by lightning if they grow outside and not in greenhouses. Also, while the tree struck by lightning will change in appearance and smolder, it will not begin producing coal until after you have woken up from sleep.
Because there are many ways to mine for coal in Stardew Valley and fruit trees provide you with high ticket items, some players argue that coal trees actually devalue your fruit trees, as they reduce your overall fruit production. However, since coal trees revert back to fruit trees after 4 days, there are no long-term losses in your income, and you can enjoy having a rare tree in your backyard.
The Rarity of Coal Trees
Coal trees are a relatively rare plant in Stardew Valley and players either make use of certain mods to increase the likelihood of their occurrence, or manipulate the in-game clock to ensure frequent lightning strikes.
In an hour long playthrough, a Stardew player waited quite a while for coal trees to naturally occur but was sorely disappointed when only one of their fruit trees was struck during a thunderstorm. They then made use of a mod which made a lightning strike occur whenever they pressed “L” on their keyboard.
Farming Coal Trees
If you want to farm coal trees, you’ll need to plant some fruit trees. Make sure that the trees are evenly placed and that they mature by Springtime as during winter, fruit trees don’t bear any fruit.
In addition, you can encourage it to rain by making use of a Rain Totem, which will result in rain the very next day, unless it is a festival or the first day of a season. While the Rain Totem generally results in rainy weather only, all rain that happens during the summer months has a thunderstorm.
You can also make use of this mod to increase the likelihood of rain. This should drastically increase thunderstorms and lightning striking your fruit trees.
Another way to increase lightning strikes to your fruit trees by placing lightning rods near them. However, if you have a higher level of Luck, then there is a lower likelihood that lightning will strike trees and buildings on your farm.
The Usefulness of Coal Trees in-Game
Coal is a cheap item in Stardew Valley, with 1 coal selling for 15g. However, it can be used in a myriad of ways in crafting, cooking, and tailoring. There are equally as many ways to farm and mine coal. The method that you get the most coal from is mining in the levels 41 to 79. Here, you can find Dust Sprites, which have about 50% chance of dropping coal. As these levels can be reset by exiting and then re-entering them, players can farm coal with great ease.
You can also farm Dust Sprites and keep them in any size coop with the help of this mod. These tame dust sprites take 3 days to mature and upon maturing they give you small gifts like coal. The more you build up your friendship with them, the more they’ll start giving you coal lumps neatly gift wrapped. These coal lumps can give you a maximum of 15 coals per lump when you put them in the charcoal kilns.
Some players also prefer to simply buy coal from Clint in the Blacksmith’s shop for 150g in your first year, and 250g from the second year onwards.
All in all, farming coal with the help of coal trees seems like a pretty inefficient way to go. Additionally, while lightning is the main ingredient for producing coal trees, it has a chance of ruining your crops and breaking floor tiles on your farm, so some players prefer not to run the risk of farming coal trees. While having a renewable source of coal at your doorstep sounds like a huge positive, whether or not that is the best move for your farm is completely up to you.
Coal trees are a novel in game item that add an interesting flair to every day farm life. Many seasoned players have not been able to chance upon a coal tree organically. Attempting to farm coal trees is a fairly innovative idea, and you can have fun creating an environment that encourages thunderstorms and lightning strikes on your farm. Stay safe out there!