Tree Planters are loaded with special Pallets containing either Poplar Seeds or Pine Saplings. They are then used similarly to a Sowing Machine, to place the seeds/saplings in the ground. Pines can be planted almost anywhere while Poplars can only be planted on an owned field.
The base game provides only one model of Tree Planter, the Damcon PL-75. This machine has a small holding capacity (only one Pallet's worth of seeds/saplings), and works very slowly. The profit from cutting the Poplars/Trees, however, is generally worth the time and effort.
List of Tree Planters Edit
Below is the only model of Tree Planter available in the base game. It is found in the "Forestry Equipment" category at the store.
|Damcon PL-75||26,000||10||1 Pallet||88||5||Three-point hitch|
Loading a Pallet Edit
Unlike other Sowing Machines, a Tree Planter can only be loaded with saplings by filling it directly from a Pallet. Specifically, it can only be filled from a pallet containing Pine Saplings or Poplar Saplings. There are only two such pallets in the game, the Lizard Pallet Saplings and Lizard Poplar Saplings Pallet, respectively.
Furthermore, a Tree Planter can only be refilled if it is currently empty. A Planter that is carrying a pallet of any kind, with any amount of saplings inside, cannot be refilled. You must first exhaust the pallet's contents by planting trees/poplars, and only then can the Planter be refilled.
To fill a Tree Planter, bring it close to a valid pallet, and hit the "Refill" button Tree Planter: RefillDefault Buttons: R ?? ??. The pallet will be instantly loaded into the machine, and be ready to work.
Since a Tree Planter cannot switch between different types of Pallets until it exhausts the one it is carrying, it may be necessary to purchase separate planters for Poplars and for Pine Trees.
Creating a Refill Point Edit
Because the only way to load a Tree Planter is directly from a Pallet, it is a good idea to bring several such pallets to any area where intense Poplar/Pine planting is about to take place. This way, the Planter does not need to be shuttled back and forth to the Store each time it needs to be refilled.
A good way to do this is simply to load several pallets onto a Bale Trailer and pull it to the work area. The Pallets can remain strapped to the trailer with Tension Belts - there's no need to release them. Whenever the Planter needs refilling, simply pull it up next to one of the pallets on the Bale Trailer, and hit the Refill button Tree Planter: RefillDefault Buttons: R ?? ??.
Note that Sapling Pallets are considerably heavier than most other types of pallets. Do not stack too many of them on a single Bale Trailer, otherwise you risk being unable to move it, or flipping it over accidentally during a sharp turn.
Planting Pine Trees Edit
Pine Trees can be planted practically anywhere on the map. Any area that is not owned by another player, nor owned by the local townsfolk (e.g. the store parking lot, paved roads, etc.) can be planted with Pine trees. This includes grass meadows, dirt roads, fields, the beach, and so on. You can even plant them on solid concrete, like the front yard at your farm.
There is no need to fertilize or plow the ground before planting Pine Trees. Again, you can even plant them on terrain that cannot at all be fertilized or plowed. Even if the ground under the tree is fertilized, the resulting tree will not grow faster nor be more profitable.
While active, a Tree Planter plants one tree every 10 meters. It will refuse to plant any trees within 10 meters of the last tree planted, but does not observe a distance limit from any previous trees planted, nor from any other type of object.
Pine saplings begin to grow immediately when planted, and will take several days to sprout into an actual Tree that can be cut down. The more time they are given to grow (up to a certain limit), the larger they'll get, and the more profit can be gotten from cutting them down.
Note: You cannot use a Hired Worker to plant pine trees. This must be done manually.
Planting Poplars Edit
A Tree Planter can plant Poplars on your fields. It can only plant poplars in a field that you own. Unlike Pine Trees (see above), it cannot be planted anywhere outside a field.
Poplars are planted just like any other Crop, by going back and forth across the field with the Tree Planter activated Tree Planter: Turn OnDefault Buttons: B X ?? and lowered to the ground Tree Planter: LowerDefault Buttons: V B ??. The Tree Planter will leave a row of saplings behind it in the ground as it passes. If there are any non-Poplar plants currently growing in the field, they will be destroyed and automatically replaced with Poplar saplings.
Poplars take a little longer to ripen than other crops. Once they are ready, they can be harvested using a Forage Harvester with a Poplar Header. This produces a large quantity of Wood Chips, and is a very effective method to produce this material.
Hired Workers Edit
Farming Simulator 17 allows you to use a Hired Worker when planting your Poplars. However, there is a very important difference when using a Hired Worker for this crop compared to other crops.
With the only Tree Planter model available in the base game, the Damcon PL-75, a Hired Worker will create very distinct rows of Poplar saplings, with a sizable gap in between them. This gap is theoretically meant to allow a Poplar Header to collect the poplars more easily when they are done growing.
However, the gap is not mandatory. After the Hired Worker has finished planting the field, you can go back and fill in the gaps with additional rows of Poplars, making a double-density crop that will give twice the yield. This can be done with a Hired Worker too, by aligning the Tree Planter with the first gap and hiring the worker then.
Refilling during the Planting Process Edit
One problem with planting Poplars is that a single acre of field requires far more Poplar saplings than a single Lizard Poplar Saplings Pallet can hold. This means that you'll have to refill the machine at least once while working. It is not possible to load more than one pallet onto the machine to solve this problem.
This presents a problem with Hired Workers, because the worker needs to be dismissed in order to get the option to refill. When the Hired Worker is re-hired to continue the work, they may get confused regarding which direction they were going, and could make the wrong turn at the end of the field and end up going back over already-sown areas. This problem is even more likely to happen if you have to take the Tree Planter elsewhere to get it refilled, and then put it back in the exact same place where you left off.
The only real solution to the problem is to go into your "Game Settings" menu, and change the "Helper Refill - Seed" option to "BUY". This will allow Hired Workers to continue planting even after they run out of saplings in the machine - but the costs of the hired worker will increase substantially. This significantly reduces your profits.
This problem does not really matter much when you are manually planting Poplars. However, due to the slow speed of the Damcon PL-75, planting poplars is an extremely tedious job, and may or may not be enjoyable to do manually.