Game Guides

Animal Crossing New Horizons: How to Plant Trees on Cliffs

Pack the cliff sides with trees and bamboo with this helpful glitch.

by Noah Hoff


Animal Crossing: New Horizons for the Nintendo Switch went all out giving players the design tools to craft the island of their dreams with the inclusion of terraforming, waterscaping, and outdoor furniture placement. However, there are usually a strict set of rules around these tools – especially when it comes to where you can plant trees. With this glitch, as of patch 1.10, you can subvert one of these rules to plant trees on cliffs, opening the door to countless new design ideas for your island. Here’s how to plant trees on cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

How to Plant Trees on Cliffs in Animal Crossing: New Horizons

To start, you will need a 3×3 space of cliffs. Dig a hole right in the center – this is where you will plant your tree. Before that though, terraform one square off one of the corners of the cliffside (make sure it is completely terraformed away and not just rounded). Then, you are going to need to waterscape on the ground below. Waterscape two squares of water adjacent to the empty corner you just terraformed, and then one in the empty corner itself. This should create a slanted piece of water in the corner, as seen in the image below.


This half space of water tricks the game into thinking there is a valid space next to where you are planting the tree, so climb back up to the hole and voila! You can now plant your tree there. This works with hardwood trees, fruit trees, cedar trees, coconut trees, and even bamboo! Just be sure the tree is already fully grown before you plant it, or your tree might not grow.

Now that you have your tree planted, the last thing to do is to shape the cliffs below however you see fit. Trying to terraform the cliffs below directly will give you the message that “it’s dangerous to modify this cliff because the tree above might fall!” but you can still get rid of cliffs beneath the tree by terraforming the corner pieces. Break a corner into a rounded off cliff, and then break it completely by terraforming the cliff next to it as well. Be careful though, as once you destroy the cliffs, you cannot terraform them again with the tree planted!


Since this is a glitch, be aware that there is the possibility it gets patched out in the future; however, this glitch has been present for many patches and still exists as of patch 1.10! This new flexibility in tree placement opens up many new possibilities for your island, so get out there and get creative! Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a Nintendo Switch exclusive available now.

- This article was updated on:May 25th, 2021

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