For a while i have been thinking that the game lacks this feature and so i’d like to add it.
This, though can be pretty complicated as there are many ways to “plant” or make a tree.
So, after some research i’d like to discuss about how this should best be done, system-wise. (will get to code-wise later on)
Keep in mind that plant propagation is not my field of knowledge, so i might be wrong at times, as google is providing most of my info.
- Trees from seeds: The well known idea of planting the seeds obtained from the fruit.
There in no 100% chance to get a tree that will bear the exact same fruit as the one it was taken from, and there is no 100% chance to bear fruit at all. It all depends on fruit varieties and pollination.
a) Apples and pears need cross-pollination for their seeds to produce fruit-bearing trees.
b) Almondlike seeds (cherries, apricots, plums, peaches) have a much better chance to produce a tree that will be fruitful and there are self-pollinating and pathenocarpic varieties of some of these.
c) Growing time is 8-10 years for apples&pears. 3-5 years for peaches, plums, apricots, cherries.
d) Planting is done in spring.
conclusion: Pretty problematic, unless you use the resulting trees as rootstock for grafting.
- Grafting: Tissues from one plant are inserted into those of another so that the two sets of vascular tissues may join together.
a) Via grafting, we can use the rootstock of another tree, and then graft the variety you want upon it, with nearly 100% chance to get the preferred variety, as long as the grafting is successfull.
For it, you’d need a compatible tree (sure you can use grafting to make a fruitless peach tree into a fruitful apricot tree, but you cannot succeed on making an oak tree bear apricots)
Apples are semi-compatible with pears, pears are compatible with quinces (not in game atm), and plums, pears, apricots, cherries are compatible with each other.
b) It takes about a month for this procedure.
c) Done best during springtime, you have to prune everything over the grafting position in order for the graft to catch, and so the tree will not be able to bear fruit immidiately, as it will have to grow new branches after the grafting position.
conclusion: With a suitable rootstock, this method is quite good. Only problem is obtaining the rootstock and using it or replanting it.
- Tree cuttings: A piece of the stem or root of the source plant is placed in a suitable medium such as moist soil, potting mix, coir or rock wool. The cutting produces new roots, stems, or both, and thus becomes a new plant independent of the parent.
a) These have a good chance to succeed with apples and pears, but not that good with the rest.
b) It takes three to four weeks for the cutting to root.
c) Again, done best during the spring.
Keeping all of this in mind i propose:
- Adding quince trees.
- Make apple, pear, apricot, peach, cherries, plums, quinces give 1-2 seeds when eaten.
- Allow planting of these in the spring, if temperature is above 5 oC. Success depends on survival skill
- Resulting trees will be considered “seedlings” for 2 years and “young” for another 2. From the 5th year onwards they mature and bear fruit.
- Replanting of seedlings will be possible.
- The resulting trees will be of the “wild” variety (eg. wild apple tree, wild peach tree…)
As such, they will have a much smaller chance to produce fruit that the varieties in our orchards.
- At least 50% of fruit trees encountered in the woods will be of the wild variety.
- We can use grafting techniques to convert a fruit tree from the wild variety into the ‘good’ one. The procedure is allowed in spring, and success depends on survival skill. Open to debate if the tree will bear fruit during the first year after grafting. Seedlings and young trees will not bear fruit until they mature.
- Allow “cuttings” technique for creating seedlings. These will be considered 1 yr old, and will always be of the “good” variety (not wild one). Success of cuttings will depend on survival skill. Apple and pear trees will be easier than the rest with this method.
- Allow planting of regular trees (not fruit-bearing ones) via cuttings.
- Add seeds and seedlings into the home gardening building. Seedlings will die after 1-2 seasons. Both these seeds and seedlings will always produce the “good” variety of the tree.
- Add an orchard building to coplement the farm. Orchards will have a good number of fruit trees planted.
PS. I do realise this is a bit too in-depth for the average player to want to grasp, so it might not be mergeable. Would like to hear of simpler realistic systems that could make it if this won’t.
PS2. Living in an apple orchard during the apocalypse might be fun