Tex's Tap Farm Strategy


Trees and Orchards

Lemons, Apples, Oranges, Peaches, Cherries, Coconuts, Maple Trees, Sequoia and Star Fruit!  They all grow well together in your climate!

When you start looking at what you get in the way of coins and experience from trees, you'll probably be a bit disappointed.  Trees are much more expensive than crops to plant.  Of course you only have to plant the trees once, and then they keep producing fruit to harvest every two to five days (depending upon the tree), so they eventually pay for the initial cost.  But crops pay for their initial cost after only one harvest, and their harvest times are faster than trees!  So the next thing you'll calculate will be the profit per hour for a tree.  That news is dismal too -- the trees all show much lower profit per hour than crops.  So perhaps you looked at that and relegated trees to the realm of decoration.  I know that I initially did think they were useless.

But, hold on friend!  Trees have one big advantage we have to put into our calculations -- you can plant them in Orchards! 

What's an Orchard? 

What's an Orchard you ask?  Well, I think of an Orchard as being a bunch of trees planted closely together.  You see, crops can only be planted in "patches", which you create with the "create patch" tool.  But these patches are actually 4x4 blocks in size.  Trees on the other hand can be planted anywhere on the grass (which you reveal again when you delete patches with the "delete" tool) and only take up one block.  This means that you can plant sixteen trees in the same space in which you would have planted a single 4x4 crop patch.  That's what I call an Orchard.    An Orchard is a square of sixteen trees.  You can see a few Orchards of ripe cherry trees in the picture to the left. 

If you arrange your patches on the free farm, you can fit at most 225 patches (15x15), and this limits the maximum rate at which you can produce coins.  However, you can fit 3,600 trees (15x15x16) on the same free farm -- giving you the ability to produce much much higher rates of coin production.

With that in mind, let's look at my spreadsheet of tree numbers:

        Lvl 12 Lvl 15 Lvl 27   Lvl X Lvl X
Tree Apple  Orange Peach Cherry Lemon Palm Star Fruit Maple Tree Young Sequoia
Cost         1,500         1,750        2,000         2,250              2,500           5,000        20,000  5 Beans   5 Beans 
Harvest             200             225            300            350                 450           1,000              500                50                55
Hours to Harvest 72 48 72 72 96 120 48 8 8
Plants/Square 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Profit/Hour            2.78           4.69          4.17           4.86                4.69             8.33          10.42            6.25            6.88
Profit/Hour/Square         44.44         75.00        66.67         77.78              75.00        133.33        166.67        100.00        110.00
Reap XP            1.00           1.00               -                  -                       -               3.00            2.00
XP/Hour            0.01           0.02               -                  -                       -               0.03            0.04                 -                   -  
XP/Hour/Square            0.22           0.33               -                  -                       -               0.40            0.67                 -                   -  
Cost to plant Square       24,000       28,000      32,000      36,000           40,000        80,000     320,000  80 Beans   80 Beans 
Days to Payback Cost         22.50         15.56        20.00         19.29              22.22           25.00          80.00  N/A   N/A 
Days to Beat Farming Cucumber         45.57         22.22        30.19         27.14              31.75           30.08          92.49  N/A   N/A 
Convert profit cash to xp         35.56         60.00        53.33         62.22              60.00        106.67        133.33          80.00          88.00
Converted Total xp/hour/square         35.78         60.33        53.33         62.22              60.00        107.07        134.00          80.00          88.00
Total XP/H/Sq./Invest*1000            1.49           2.15          1.67           1.73                1.50             1.34            0.42  N/A   N/A 
Although we can still calculate the profit per hour with trees, to compare it with using our farm for crops we really need to calculate the "Profit/Hour/Square", which is sixteen times higher.  This is the amount of money that we could make with an  Orchard of trees instead of planting crops in a patch.  We then also want to compare the experience that we'll produce with that 4x4 bit of land holding an Orchard instead of planting crops on it.  That's in the "XP/Hour/Square".

As you can see, Star Fruit trees give much much higher profit per hour per square than any crop planted in the same square, but they cost a huge amount to plant an Orchard (320,000 coins).  But if you do have 320,000 coins sitting around that you don't want to spend on decorations, you could plant an Orchard of Star Fruit trees.  Of course, it will take a long time for that Orchard to return 320,000 coins again -- 80 days.  And during that eighty days, you could have been farming cucumbers on that square.  But after some period (92 and 1/2 days), you'll be holding more cash than you would if you were farming cucumbers.  And you'll have the Star Fruit Orchard to continue producing at that high rate of cash production (320,000 every 80 days).

Every other tree gives lesser returns than Star Fruit, but they also require lower initial investment, and therefore pay back their investment much more quickly (on the order of 30 days).  In addition, cherry tree Orchards are actually pretty, making them an attractive initial orchard investment in my opinion.  I don't think Star Fruit are actually a needed investment because by the time you have enough cash to buy more than a few Orchards, you'll be able to get into animal-farming, which is even more lucrative, but there is no arguing that Star Fruit are the best return available initially.

Do note however, that the experience produced by an Orchard is much lower than you could get using the same area to farm crops.

How to Harvest Orchards

If you are planting Orchards, then you'll find there is a bit of a problem when it comes to harvesting them.  First of all, you can't tell when the individual trees are ripe for the picking.   Look at the two pictures below.  On the left you see Orchards of unripe cherry trees, and on the right ripe ones.  Can you count how many trees are ripe?  No, because only the ones on the edge show the fruit on them.  As a matter of fact, you only have my word that the trees on the left are all unripe -- if there were ripe ones in the center, they would display no differently. 
So the first thing you'll want to do for harvesting Orchards is to keep them all on the same ripening schedule.  If you add more trees to an Orchard, wait until they all are ripe before you harvest them -- then you can tell that the whole Orchard is ripe when you see any tree on the edge ripen.  And don't block of a group of Orchards entirely from view with other things, or you'll need to use an indicator item to remember when to harvest it.  (By indicator item, I just mean planting one item with the same harvest schedule as the trees where you can see it.)

The second challenge for harvesting an Orchard is to manage to harvest all sixteen trees in the Orchard without forgetting some.  This is easier if you use the "queuing" feature of Tap Farm where you can queue up multiple harvest, plow, and planting actions.  To do this, let your crops and Orchards both become ripe, and then harvest your crop land first.  If you harvest the crops quickly, you will "queue" up all of the harvest actions, and have quite a buffer before the game finishes harvesting them.  You can extend this buffer to several minutes if you harvest, plow, and plant your crops all at once.

With your crops queued up and merrily planting away, you can then start to harvest your Orchards.  As you touch each individual tree, it will "grey" out the tree that is queued up to be harvested, showing more clearly the other trees that remain to be harvested.

Harvesting Orchards

You can see that process in the picture to the left.  Notice that there are "greyed" out crops that have been queued up visible just below the Orchards .  The Orchards are partially harvested, and the trees that have been harvested are greyed out on the left side of the picture.  You can see that the ripe trees on the right side of the picture that were previously hidden behind other trees are now exposed.  And the one tree towards the right that was overlooked in the harvesting till now is very obvious once all its neighbors have been greyed out. 

Harvesting Coconuts

This makes harvesting a more leisurely process where you pick all the fruit trees clean and then watch the cash roll in.  If I don't do it this way, it seems to be a frustrating, blind, tapping hunt for trees that you didn't yet happen to tap, until you give up looking for any you missed.  In the photo to the left you can see that the palm Orchards were picked clean (with the greyed out harvested trees on the left still queued up).   You can also see that the Tap Farm game has finished the crop harvest and is now harvesting the queued up palms (from right to left) and popping up 1000 coins worth of coconuts from each.

Magic Beanie Trees

There were two new trees added with the Feb 6, 2010 update:  Young Sequoia and Maple.  These can only be purchased with magic beans and thus currently one can't purchase an Orchard's worth.  However, their rates of return are less than Palm trees and Star Fruit, so Young Sequoia and Maple can be viewed primarily as decorations.