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This image shows a blocky avatar boating upon a river in Minecraft, surrounded by cherry blossoms! How serene!

Around the Block: Cherry Grove

A berry good biome!

The Trails & Tales update includes a tonne of new and exciting features. There are chiseled bookshelves for storing your favorite reads, smithing templates for improving your tools and armor, and a whole new way to uncover the history of the Overworld through archaeology.

But my favorite new addition to the game is none of these. I love Minecraft for its vast diverse landscapes, that players can get lost in for days (both figuratively and literally – always bring a compass when exploring). So the Trails & Tales feature that I’m most excited about is the game’s newest biome – the beautiful, tranquil, cherry grove.

The cherry grove biome might be one of the most stunning biomes in the game. The grassy floor is carpeted with cute pink flowers, while petals rain down from above, and bees buzz around the branches of the cherry trees that make this part of the Overworld unique.

This magical place isn’t too easy to find – it’s small and often generates in the foothills of mountainous areas. Sheep, pigs, rabbits, and the aforementioned bees make this biome their home, though at night you’ll need to watch out for the usual cavalcade of creepers, zombies, skeletons, spiders, and Endermen.

It’s honestly a pretty good place to set up home – and not only thanks to its stunning good looks. It has a nice balance of foliage – not as dense as jungles or forests, so you can’t see approaching baddies, but not as bereft of vegetation and building material as deserts or plains.

The real cherry trees are native to the temperate parts of the northern hemisphere, but have become a common sight in many countries. There are fruit-producing variants, but the Minecraft version bears closest resemblance to the “ornamental cherry” tree which is primarily found in East Asia, including China, Korea, and Japan.

The blossoms of these trees, which are known as “sakura”, are a huge tourist attraction in the springtime – drawing many visitors to parks and botanical gardens. They usually flower in March and April, and historical sources show that they’ve been admired for many centuries.

In Japan, in fact, records have been kept of the precise date of the bloom for more than a thousand years – and by studying this data, scientists have found that it’s being affected by climate change. Today, cherry trees bloom about two weeks earlier each year on average than they did two centuries ago.

Luckily, in Minecraft, there are no seasons and the cherry trees are in full blossom all year round. So go hunt down a cherry grove and bask in the beauty of these wonderful trees!

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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