SL for Nowt

Living a digital life with empty pockets

Newbie Guide to Money Trees

One of the things I love about WordPress is that it tells me what search words brought people to this blog. On quite a number of occasions now, those words have included “money tree” and, given that money trees were how Mar got started in-world, and her initial blogposts (although un-tagged) focused a great deal on money trees, I thought it was about time for a Mar blogpost special on the things *g*

So, hop behind the cut for the best kind of freebies in-world: free money!

UPDATE: There is now an official website for the Wolfhaven money trees used in-world. You can find a partial list of trees to be found in SL on there (clicking the links will open up a TP link in Second Life if you’re logged in-world). I suggest you set a landmark for any trees you find, then you can use that list of landmarks (put them in a new folder) to rattle quickly around the grid.

First, the important stuff, and I’m going to be using a lot of bold here, to make stuff stand out. I’m also going to make this like a question and answer session. So…

Can anyone pick from money trees?

Only newbies can pick from them, and your avatar must be 29 days old, or younger. There are a few ‘glitchy’ trees that will allow you to pick from them with an older avatar, but the vast majority of trees will only give money to avatars that are 29 days or under in age.

I can’t pick from this one tree. What’s wrong with it?

If it keeps giving you the ‘blue flag’ (the dropdown blue tab in the top right corner of your screen) and that flag wants you to go to a webpage and register something, then you’re trying to pick from a money tree that requires you to have payment information registered with Linden Lab, the creators of Second Life. A few trees do require this, but the majority don’t. You don’t have to have payment info registered right from the start if you don’t want to. Many newbies don’t feel comfortable giving out their credit card or Paypal details when they’re not sure if they’re going to keep using a product, and I want to assure you that, with a little bit of dedication over the course of 29 days, it is quite possible to pick more than L$1000 from money trees. That will be enough to set you up, as long as you stick with blogs like this, and keep looking for freebies, dollarbies, and lowbies.

If a tree asks you to fill in surveys to get money out of it, walk away. Do you really want to be giving a lot of personal information out like that, in exchange for the promise of money? Nope, thought not. Stick with the legitimate trees.

So how do I find a money tree?

Use Search, and keep your eyes open! The quickest way to find trees is to open the Search menu and use the Places tab. Put in the words “money tree” (include the quotemarks) and a huge list will come up. Be warned: some of them will not have a money tree. Just as in RL, in SL there are people who will tell you anything to get you to their place, so if you’ve flown around an area for half an hour with no sign of a money tree whatsoever, then it’s likely that you’ve been had. However, most places are honest about having a money tree.

Search results will come up for both money and tree, so before teleporting (TPing) to a place, check the place’s info out first of all. When you click to highlight a search result in the left pane of the window, that place’s information will show on the right. Read that info, and if you see ‘money tree’ then you’re good to go.

As for keeping your eyes open, many newbie/freebie places and sandboxes will have a money tree, so if you spot one while you’re in a place like that, wander over to check it out. If it’s a paying tree, then add a landmark to it into your folder of money tree LMs (see later in this post for that).

What do these trees look like?

Hm. Well, they vary. A vast majority of them look like the Linden Small Oak Tree:

(The dollar signs show that money’s just been picked from that tree. The trees don’t have dollar signs on them by default.)

Some look like the Linden Winter Aspen Tree (you’ll find these mainly in snowy sims and Christmassy areas).

But some of them are resident-created trees, so they could be pines, palms, or huge eucalyptus trees. The one thing that they all have, though, is four pillars around the base. So when you’re flying around, keep an eye skinned (don’t fly too high: just skim the rooftops) for a tree with four (usually grey concrete) pillars around it. That’s your money tree.

I teleported in and can’t find a tree near me, but I can see a red beam/red arrow. What’s that?

Follow that arrow or beam, because it will lead you to the tree. Some sims automatically send you to a ‘landing point’, so that even if you create a landmark elsewhere in the sim, you’ll always be re-routed to that landing point. A useful tip if that happens, is to try taking the teleport again. Often on the second time, you’ll arrive directly at the landmark itself. If not, just follow the beam…

I found a tree and I’m looking up into it. I can’t see anything but leaves!

There’s a nifty little trick that will get rid of the entire tree for you and help you to see the money better. Note, though, that it will only work on Linden trees, not on resident-created trees. I only know the Windows shortcut for this, so if anyone knows how to do this on a Mac, comment and let me know! (EDIT: Mistletoe says in comments: “On a Mac it’s Cmd + opt + shift + 3 to make the tree invisible.” Thanks, Mistletoe!) The shortcut is: hold down (all at the same time) [ALT] [ CTRL] [SHIFT] and then press the 3 key. That will toggle trees on and off. Mac users, you might try using the menu at the top of your client: open Edit >> Preferences and open the Graphics tab. Check the ‘Custom’ option and then bring the slider for ‘Tree mesh detail’ down to zero.

So what does this money look like? All I can see is fruit!

Grab that fruit, quick! Money trees grow both money and fruit, and the fruit is worth more. Typically, a dollar bill (there are two types that grow on trees: the Linden dollar and the Wolfhaven dollar) is worth L$1, a banana is worth L$5, an apple is worth L$10, and a pair of cherries is worth L$20. Some tree owners will change that, though, so the fruit could be worth more, or less. But if in doubt, always grab the fruit first and the dollars after.

Very occasionally you’ll come across a tree that offers something other than fruit and money. I know of at least one tree in-world that offers Hong Bao (Chinese lucky red envelopes) instead, each of them having a value of L$1. Amusingly, I always tried to get at least one lucky envelope each day, because I felt my luck would be in elsewhere if I did *g*

Where on the tree does it grow?

That depends on the tree. Usually you’ll find it up in the branches, close to the trunk, if it’s a Linden tree. Some of the resident-created trees, like the ones that have coloured lights and are made up of flat planes set at angles and look like starfish from above, will grow money (almost always dollars) between those flat planes, and some of the taller trees like palms will grow the money on their trunks. You’ll get used to looking for them: you just need to know what to look for!

Here’s money growing on the trunk of a palm tree. Nice and easy to spot!

How do I pick the money?

Easy – just click it!

How often does this money grow?

Every tree, providing there are funds in it, will grow some form of money or fruit every 20 minutes. That’s three times an hour. Exactly what grows depends on donations. If there are donations in the tree (check one of the pillars) then it’s likely to grow fruit, but if not, then you’ll probably get dollars. Most trees are fairly accurate, so if one grows money on the hour, it’ll next grow money at 20 minutes past the hour, then at 20 minutes to the hour. They do sometimes slip slightly out of their times, though (like a clock that loses minutes every now and then) so it’s not much use making up a list of which trees grow at what times.

I’ve got lots of money from this tree this morning. Why can’t I get any more?

You can only pick L$25 from any one tree at a time. Check out those four pillars around each tree. One of them lists the Last 5 Recipients. If your name is on that list, then you can’t pick any more than L$25 from that tree, until your name falls off the bottom of the list. Don’t worry, that will usually happen fairly quickly! But if, say, you’ve picked L$23 and there’s a pair of cherries in the tree now, you won’t be able to get those cherries. You’ll only be able to pick two more dollar bills (bringing your total up to L$25) until your name’s not on that list anymore.

Is there some kind of money tree etiquette?

Only your common sense. For me, whenever I TP’d in to a tree and saw somebody waiting there, I would TP out again, because they might have been standing there a long time, waiting for money to grow. If it was you in that situation, and you’d been standing by a tree for 20 minutes, waiting for it to grow, then someone popped up and snatched it out from under your nose the second it grew, you wouldn’t be too pleased! You’ll be amazed at how competitive money tree hopping can get. You’ll also find yourself cursing strangers you never met, because they got there just before you and nabbed L$20 from that tree!

I would say that the only exception to this is if you happen to have payment info registered with Linden Lab, you know this is a payment info-only tree, and you’ve checked out the profile of the person waiting (right-click on them and select Profile) and can see they don’t have payment info registered. In that case, explain it to them so they know they can’t pick from that tree without payment info registered, then by all means take the money yourself. But be nice to your fellow newbies if you can, because it’s likely that for the next 29 days you’ll keep bumping into them *g*

So if these trees only grow a few dollars at a time, how do I earn over L$1000?

You set up a schedule, and you create a folder in your inventory of landmarks to money trees that you know are paying out. Then two or three times a day you spend about half an hour zipping around the grid, using your landmarks, and checking each tree. If your ’round’ of trees takes you approximately 20 minutes, then the trees you visited first might have grown money again by the time you go back to them. You just need to be dedicated at first, and you can make quite enough money to get by with in your first 29 days.

How do I set up a folder of money tree landmarks?

Open up your inventory, and click on the down-facing arrow beside My Inventory. Then right-click on the Landmarks folder. Select New Folder, and call it Money Trees. Now, whenever you find a money tree, use your Second Life client’s menu: World >> Create Landmark Here. The landmark will show in your main landmarks folder, and you can click and drag it into your Money Trees folder. When you come to do your money tree rounds, open up that Money Trees folder, and double-click on each landmark when you want to go there, working your way down the list. select ‘yes’ from the little teleport offer that will pop up, and you’re on your way.

How do I know if there’s money in a tree, at a glance?

Look at the ‘Money in Tree’ pillar around it. That will tell you if there’s anything in the tree to be paid out. If it says L$0, then move on. The tree is empty for now (but it might grow money within the next 20 minutes). But make sure you read the next question and answer…

This tree says there’s L$12 in it, but I can’t see any money at all!

Just because a tree’s ‘Money in Tree’ pillar says it has money in it, that’s not how much money you’ll find in it if you look. The ‘Money in Tree’ pillar is often what I call a ‘base amount’ below which the tree will not go. So your L$12 tree might not have any money in it now, but if you go back and it reads L$14, then there are two dollars in the tree, waiting to be picked. You’ll get to know, as you zip around doing your rounds of the trees, what their base amounts are.

So where are the trees that pay the most money?

Sorry, can’t tell you that because it varies, depending on donations. You might be lucky and have one of your regular trees turn into a high-payer (ie: L$20 or so every other 20 minutes) but that’s probably because someone turned up and dropped L$1000 into the pot for it. Money trees are maintained and funded by their owners, but often older residents (especially those whose early days were helped by money trees) will pop along and donate some money to a tree. Your money-picking depends on those people!

Can you give me a list of trees?

Afraid not, because they change all the time. I just teleported to several of my ‘old’ trees from a few months ago, and they’ve either moved or gone. Even the Master Money Tree Directory is no longer there! So I’m afraid you’re on your own, as I was and as everybody else is. Spend your first day looking for money trees and adding them to your folder of landmarks, then dedicate a little time each day to doing the rounds.

Hey, I found a chair that gives out money!

Yes, there are a few of them around, but the only ones I found give out just one dollar at a time, and you have to be lucky enough to find one showing the initial of your avatar’s first name. but yes, they do exist!

Anything else?

Enjoy zipping around Second Life and seeing what’s out there, because you’ll see a lot more of it while you’re hopping around money trees than you would if you were just sitting and camping in one place all day long. If the tree you’re at is in a mall, explore a bit around it, look for lucky chairs that offer prizes, keep an eye skinned for boxes in store doorways that have freebies in them. There’s a great world of stuff out there, all to be had either for free or very cheaply.

And most of all, have fun!

April 13, 2008 - Posted by | freebies, second life |


  1. […] 1L$, so you won’t be able to buy them until you’ve been around some money trees (see this post for all about that, but be quick: you can only pick from money trees for your first 29 days in […]

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  2. […] Lab, the creators of second Life, you’ll need to hit the money trees to get some cash. See this post for how to do that, but be quick: you can only pick from money trees for the first 29 days of your […]

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  3. […] September 10, 2008 by jt Can I interest anyone in a money tree? Yes, an actual money tree, not the virtual variety! […]

    Pingback by Money trees « Notes from a small field | September 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. On a Mac it’s Cmd + opt + shift + 3 to make the tree invisible.

    Comment by Mistletoe | June 7, 2009 | Reply

  5. […] […]

    Pingback by What's the deal with Zyngo? - SLUniverse Forums | September 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. i found a tree, picked some 10.00 bills and they are now in my inventory. how do i move them from inventory objects to my “wallet”

    Comment by Briin Winterwolf | December 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Briin, it doesn’t sound like you found a proper money tree. When you pick bills from a money tree, the money is instantly paid into your ‘wallet’ (avatar’s account). You’ll see a blue dropdown in the top-right corner of your screen, saying something along the lines of “[avatar name] has paid you L$1” or similar, and you’ll see the small balance (on the top bar of your screen) increase by that amount.

      If the bills ended up in your actual inventory, then I don’t think they’re from a proper money tree. Have you tried finding out the tree owner’s name (go back to the tree, right-click on it, select ‘edit’ and look under the ‘general’ tab for the owner’s name. There will be a blue button beside it to view their profile) and contacting them to find out exactly how their money tree works?

      One thing to watch out for, by the way. If the owner tells you to rez the bills (to drag them out in-world) and you do this, and you suddenly get a YELLOW dropdown in the top-right of your screen? Click DENY and delete all of the bills from your inventory. A yellow dropdown signifies a money *debit* and if you allow it, it could remove money from your balance. I’m not suggesting this tree’s bills will do that, but there are some scammers in Second Life, and I would hate to think of you getting scammed in this case :-/

      Comment by Mar | December 17, 2009 | Reply

  7. Reblogged this on Welcome to Mia Jonita, SLE, and Depts,

    Comment by ldmorg | July 12, 2012 | Reply

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