Treeguards are Boss Monsters that can occasionally transform from Evergreens when a nearby Evergreen is chopped down. They are initially hostile towards the wood-cutter, assuming that is how they were spawned, have very high health and damage, and are capable of killing most unarmored characters in three strikes.
Treeguards do not normally spawn before Day 3, after which each Evergreen at any stage fallen has a 1.33% chance of spawning one from Evergreens within 15 units of distance (just under 4 Pitchfork tiles). After Day 30, up to two Treeguards may spawn at once, with up to three spawning at once given enough Evergreens nearby. They can spawn from any size Evergreen tree, but not from burned Evergreens, dead Evergreens or Evergreen saplings (from recently planted Pine Cones).
When chopping down a Lumpy Evergreen, there is also the chance for a Lumpy Treeguard to spawn, which behaves the same as a normal Treeguard, but looks different.
There are three sizes available for Treeguards– short (70% scale), normal (100% scale), and tall (120% scale) that spawn from the respective size Evergreens. Their scale affects their health, damage, combat range, and walking speed.
When they first appear, Treeguards will aim to attack whoever chopped down trees near them and will follow their target indefinitely; however, they can be pacified by planting Pine Cones. Planting one within 16 units away has a 15% chance to pacify them, while within 5 units away has a 33% chance. Treeguards give a soft growl every time a pine cone is planted, whether or not it pacifies, even if they're sleeping. If an angered Treeguard following the player does not growl when a pine cone is planted, it was not planted close enough to calm the Treeguard. Planting pine cones ahead of time does not prevent Treeguards from spawning, nor does it calm them later. Attempting to chop down a tree in the presence of a pacified Treeguard will enrage it and cause it to attack, though it can be pacified again with more pine cones. It's even possible to pacify one after attacking it.
When a Treeguard is pacified (or sleeping), it will return to the ground disguised as a tree; a Treeguard in this state has no waving animation like other normal trees, and does not have a trunk nor does it appear in the map. During winter, a pacified/sleeping Treeguard will also have no snow, making it easy to distinguish from actual trees. At night, neutral Treeguards go to sleep, plopping down wherever they happen to be standing. As with one calmed with pine cones, if no one chops a nearby tree or attacks the sleeping Treeguard, it will not wake up until morning comes. Treeguards that awaken in this way will wander aimlessly until night, or until they are angered again. Neutral Treeguards can also be put to sleep/pacified with pine cones.
If the player spawns a Treeguard while underground, the Treeguard will continue to pursue indefinitely even if the player has exited to the surface and returned.
Mobs will still attack a sleeping Treeguard if they would attack normally. Pigs, Abigail, and other friendly mobs must be kept in check as they will draw aggression from any Treeguard they hit, although the Treeguard will remain neutral to the player unless the player also attacks.
Treeguards will not come from dead Evergreens, Spiky Trees, or burnt trees. Treeguards have been reported to grow to the next stage of Treeguard Size if they are small enough.
Treeguards have a great deal of health but are slow. Killing the monster by dodging its attack and then running in to strike 3-4 times before dodging again is an effective way to wear it down, although this will drain considerable Sanity. This method works especially well with Woodie's Beaver form.
Tooth Traps are useful against Treeguards as they will not only damage them but often get the monster stuck on them for a moment.
Leading a Treeguard to other hostile creatures or vice versa is another effective way to kill it. Pigs will attack them on sight, and multiple Pigs can easily disorient a Treeguard by the hit and run tactic. A good-sized herd of Beefalo in heat can make short work of a Treeguard, and due to its ability to be pacified, the Treeguard can be placed close to a herd and effectively farmed every mating season (also yielding Meat and Beefalo Horn drops). They can also be tricked into fighting a Deerclops, Hounds, and Tentacles. This tactic does not work with the Dragonfly, and can result in both chasing the character.
Another possible way to kill a Treeguard is to pacify it by planting pine cones and light surrounding things on fire; it will catch fire but won't wake up, though this method causes the Living Logs it drops to burn into ashes.
A good way of killing Treeguards with Woodie is to gnaw trees to try and spawn one in Woodie's Werebeaver form. The Werebeaver needs to eat a lot of plant matter to keep his Log Meter up, so it's likely Treeguards will eventually spawn.
If a Treeguard walks over or near a Campfire or an item set on fire (such as trees, Cut Grass or Twigs), it will catch fire and take damage over time, but it must walk over it several times before being killed. If killed by fire, the Treeguard will not drop its usual loot, but will leave some ash and cooked Monster Meat. Still, they are fairly dangerous in first days, so this method is still an option when the player doesn't need the Living Logs. Multiple burning Treeguards will re-ignite each other continuously until they die, thus it's easier to get rid of several of them than a single monster using this method. To prevent them from setting other trees and Structures on fire, it's advised to lead them to an area with no or few flammable objects, such as a Rockyland Biome.
Having trouble while trying to summon a Treeguard is quite normal. A way to speed up this process is to have some befriended Pigs help chop trees. They will continue to chop trees until the player runs a distance from the trees. If the Pigs spawn Treeguards, the Treeguards will attack the Pigs instead of the player.
Another way to summon a Treeguard faster is to burn many trees in a cluster and keep a small, newly planted tree next to the cluster. Each burnt tree will count as a regular tree when chopped and will take considerably less time to chop than healthy trees. Chop the burnt trees while newly planted tree is tier 1 to make the ensuing battle easier, and plant two or three more trees near the cluster if one wants to spawn multiple Treeguards.
Below is the number of hits it takes with each weapon to kill various sized Treeguards when playing with characters with a default damage modifier. The Weather Pain is not included due to the random nature of its projectile.
|No. of hits for||589||184||148||92||82||74||60||43-85||35 or 58||50||48||43||42||37||25||13||3|
|No. of hits for||471||148||112||74||66||59||48||34-68||28 or 47||40||39||34||34||30||20||10||2|
|No. of hits for||330||103||83||52||45||42||34||24-48||20 or 33||28||27||24||24||21||14||7||2|
- Nonaggressive Treeguards can be kept around to fight other mobs, such as Pigs, Tentacles, even other boss monsters. They can soften or kill the enemies, thanks to their high health and damage.
- If the player dies and respawns, the Treeguard will be pacified.
- Spiders will not attack a Treeguard if it steps on the web outside their nest or for any other reason. Likewise, a Treeguard will not attack a Spider for any reason, even Spider Queens. However, the Treeguard will attack back if the Spider attacked first because the player used a Spiderhat to command it.
- Mobs and bosses that knock down trees (a Clockwork Rook or Bearger, for example) can cause a Treeguard to spawn. Treeguards that spawn this way will attack the mob that knocked down the tree that caused them to spawn.
- A simple way to find a sleeping pacified Treeguard is by hovering an Axe over trees. The prompt for a regular tree is "chop", whereas the prompt for a Treeguard is "attack".
- Another option would be to check to see if the tree has an insanity aura.
- Tall Treeguards (like the Ancient Guardian) have the highest amount of health of all the vanilla mobs, and deal the most damage to other mobs (not to the player).
- In the game files, the Treeguard is also named "Leif", which is a male given name of Scandinavian origin. It is derived from the Old Norse name Leifr (nominative case), meaning "heir" or "descendant." This is most likely a pun on "Leaf."
- Sometimes, after being chased for a while, the Treeguard will walk around randomly, not attacking the player. If this happens, one may use this time to get ready to fight it again, because it will begin attacking the next morning (even if it went passive right after morning).
- Treeguards may have been inspired by the Ents in J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings or similar creatures (such as Treants) from other fantasy books, movies, games, and lore.
- In older versions of the game, the sound played when a player swung a weapon was the same sound a Treeguard makes while swiping.
- The Treeguard is the only neutral Boss Monster in the base game and Reign of Giants DLC. Shipwrecked DLC added Tiger Shark, which is also neutral towards the player.
- If the player attempts to use a Straw Roll to sleep while in combat with a nearby Treeguard, the game will not pick it up as being "too dangerous", and the character will awake the next day with the Treeguard still attacking.
- It seems with the Strange New Powers update, when a big Treeguard is summoned and the player leaves the game after a short while, there is a chance it will become (and stay) a medium-sized Treeguard. It is unknown if health and attack power values are left the same as a big Treeguard.
- Fighting other mobs in the presence of a neutral Treeguard, whether walking around or sleeping, will cause that season's boss monster music (for example, "E.F.S." for Summer in the vanilla game or Autumn in RoG) to play without the Treeguard becoming aggressive towards the player. This also happens when fighting near a Spider Queen or other Boss Monsters (e.g. attacking Moslings near their mother Moose/Goose), whether the ordinary mobs are related to the boss or not.
- If the player eats a cooked mandrake while being attacked by a Treeguard, it will cause the player to wake up the next morning with the Treeguard pacified.
- A Treeguard may spawn from planted saplings. It is unknown if this is actually a bug or intended.
- On rare occasion when chopping down a tree, a Treeguard will spawn from said tree; this will result in a crash.