Trees are Plants generated randomly with each new map and can be naturally found anywhere except in Rockyland or Savanna Biomes (although they may still be planted there). Evergreens are most commonly found in Forests and Grasslands.
Trees are the primary source of Logs and Pine Cones. They can be chopped down with an Axe or by Pig followers. A felled tree leaves behind a tree stump, which can be dug up with a Shovel for an extra Log.
Evergreens have a 4-stage life cycle (small, medium, large, and aged) which they continuously cycle through. Once cut, stumps do not regrow into trees nor do new trees spawn naturally; the only way to get more trees is to plant them with Pine Cones. Tree stumps, however, are treated as normal trees by the game: they are shown on the map as normal trees and they change their size from small to aging continuously like trees do. Planting a Pine Cone will produce a sapling tree which will grow into a small Evergreen and follow the life cycle until it is chopped down or burned. The number of strikes needed to chop down a tree varies by its size and state. Basic Axe can chop down small trees in 5, medium trees in 10, and large trees in 15 strikes. Aged or Burned trees take a single strike to be chopped down.
When a tree is chopped down, a nearby Evergreen may stand up and become a Treeguard. After day 3, each tree felled has a 1.3% percent chance of spawning a Treeguard from a nearby Evergreen, including trees you have planted yourself. The Treeguard will chase whoever chopped down trees near them until the player plants enough Pine Cones to pacify it or runs beyond the Treeguard's attack range. Since Treeguards are quite slow, they're relatively easy to outrun. Note that a pacified Treeguard will "hibernate" into a normal Evergreen - it will appear as a normal Evergreen but will actually be identified as a Treeguard when hovered-over. Treeguards that have been simply outrun will wander about in their active form.
If a tree is exposed to fire (such as from an uncontrolled Campfire, a Torch, or other nearby burning object) it will quickly ignite and can rapidly spread to nearby trees or other plants. Forests in particular are prone to large forest fires. The damage caused by fire will kill small creatures like Birds and Rabbits almost instantly and can damage the player if they stand too close. Burning trees produce a great deal of light and heat, however they burn out quickly. Once a tree is consumed by fire, it will be reduced to a burnt tree, which can be chopped down with an Axe to produce a piece of Charcoal (and occasionally a pine cone or two). In DST, sometimes a burnt tree will drop two pieces of charcoal. Stumps that have been burned will turn into Ashes.
In Don't Starve Together, Evergreens may petrify after an unknown period of time, followed by an announcement from the character. Petrified Trees are mined instead of being chopped, and may result in Rocks, Nitre and Flint.
There are Minimap icons for tree stumps and burnt trees instead of showing as normal trees.
- When chopping down a burning tree (not one that has already burnt) with any Axe or as a Werebeaver, the game will sometimes crash, but when it doesn't, the tree will drop as many Logs and Pine Cones as listed above using only 1% of the used Axe, as if it was a burnt tree. This bug was fixed in the Reign of Giants DLC.
- When dying near a tree, items will sometimes land on top of it in an unreachable location. This could be worked around by chopping down the tree and digging up the stump.
- When rapidly chopping down a tree by left-clicking, sometimes the player's Axe will say 0% and take up one inventory space.
- Sometimes, whilst a tree is burning, it will grow and appear as a nonburnt tree, but when cut down drops charcoal.