Stardew Valley creator teases a change coming in the 1.6 update, excited conversation about fruit trees immediately ensues

Stardew Valley - a player swings a scythe at a patch of grass near a field of peppers and a goat
(Image credit: Eric Barone)

The patch notes for the big Stardew Valley 1.6 update remain secret, but we do now know one change that's coming thanks to a patch note. Creator Eric Barone shared a wee little insight into the update on Twitter today, and it's got players awfully excited about their fruit trees.

"Started working on the patch notes for 1.6, thought I would share one random line about changes to fruit trees," Barone tweeted. That change is as follows:

Cutting down a fruit tree now yields the appropriate fruit sapling. If the tree is mature (ie the fruit quality is > basic), it will yield a sapling with the same quality as its fruit. The higher the quality, the faster the sapling will mature when replanted.

It seems like a fairly granular change to me, but the response to the tweet suggests otherwise. There's a lot of excitement, and more than a few questions, which Barone gamely addressed in replies.

For one thing, the change isn't meant to provide any boost over and above what players have now—it's really about preservation. "It's only intended to help people move their trees, not provide any economic benefit," Barone said in response to one inquiry. "The best money maker would be to plant your tree and never touch it again. This just makes it less of a tragedy if there comes a time that you have to move a tree."

"The 'maturity' thing is there so that it's less distressing to move an old, established tree, because it will grow back faster," he said in another reply. New trees that have to be moved will also drop saplings, but without the benefit of the "maturity" bonus.

He also noted that the bonus will not impact the quality of the fruit these trees produce: A sapling from a mature tree will grow faster but still has to go through the same stages in order to start producing the same quality of fruit as its progenitor.

Even with that clarity, the change strikes me as relatively minor, but people who actually play Stardew Valley seem to feel very differently.

(Image credit: ghoulishrimp (Twitter))

(Image credit: taaddisbinz (Twitter))

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"Whomst among us," etc.

I also learned today that there is apparently a "fruit tree meta," which to be honest is not something I'd considered previously.

(Image credit: TGMightyPoo2020 (Twitter))

Speaking of meta, for some players this will be a quality-of-life improvement that extends beyond the bounaries of Stardew Valley:

(Image credit: abysmallyizzy (Twitter))

I don't know much about Stardew Valley but I do know a thing or two about moving trees: I once relocated a fully-grown, poorly-placed apple tree with nothing but a shovel and my bare hands. The tree survived, although it took a few years before it started producing fruit again (which was fine, since it's strictly food for bugs and whatever apple-enjoying animals happen to wander by) and the experience left me with a valuable piece of wisdom: Don't move a tree by yourself unless you really, really gotta move a tree by yourself.

From that perspective, I have to agree with LittlePinkSouda here:

(Image credit: LittlePinkSouda (Twitter))

The Stardew Valley 1.6 update is set to go live on March 19. As for exactly when, it all depends on how the day unfolds. "As soon as I wake up, drink a coffee, and there's no last minute problem, I will push the button," Barone tweeted. "So if all goes well, some time in the morning. I'll let everyone know when the time comes." And we will let you know in turn.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.