Breaking the Money System in Animal Crossing Wii

Time to read: 4 minutes

I’ve been playing a lot of Animal Crossing: City Folk lately. I was hooked on this game in the last iteration on game consoles (that being the Gamecube version). This new one is mostly the same, and that’s a disappointment, but there’s enough small stuff changed that it doesn’t feel 100% like the old version. Anyway, I’ve been visiting a lot of people’s towns now. That’s one of the new things, you can visit people’s towns via WiFi and play on their consoles.

That’s cool, as it helps ratchet up one’s stock of foreign fruit. The town you play in comes with its own “native fruit”. That’s the kind that grows wild in your town. For me, that’s Apples. There’s about half a dozen different fruits the game can have. The others are oranges, pears, cherries, coconuts, and one or two others I can’t recall right now. There is a lesser known feature in the game, called a “money tree”. Anyway, I mentioned to a few people whose towns I was visiting about the concept of money trees. I wrote this big email to one of them, and decided to post it here in case anyone else wants to know about this.

In Animal Crossing, you dig things up from the ground (or bury) with a shovel you get at the local game merchant’s store (that would be Tom Nook). Anyway, as you progress in the game, the various objects have “gold” versions, which are snazzier than the standard ones. They look somewhat cooler, but they have better functions. For example, the gold slingshot will shoot three pellets instead of the one the standard one does.

First off, you have to have a golden shovel to do this. If you try it with a regular or silver shovel, it won’t work. You get one of those by burying a regular shovel in the ground, and after four days, dig it up and it will be gold. If you dig it up too soon, it will get the timer restarted, and have to do it again. So keep it buried until the time is ready.

Anyway, you plant bags of money like you would any other fruit. After a few days, the tree will bear bags of money as opposed to fruit. Then you get it off the tree like any other fruit.

The catch here is this. And this goes for any kind of tree, not just money. If you want to GUARANTEE the tree will grow, you need to cut down an existing tree and replant in the same spot, but BEFORE closing over the hole once you’ve dug up the stump. If you do that, it resets the hole, and you’ve lost that. This is particularly annoying if you try planting in a new spot with money, and the tree withers, you’ve then lost that money. Your best best for planting money trees is to cut down an existing tree, and plant in that same spot. Additionally, a money tree doesn’t regrow money once you’ve harvested it. After that, you need to cut it down and replant with fruit, as a single spot will grow money just once.

I only experiment with new tree locations with my town’s native fruit, since there’s a bunch of it, and you’re not out a lot of it fails.

The max money tree you can plant is between 99,000 and 100,000 bells. That’s because you can’t hold more money than that at once, and you can only plant one bag at a time, so the max output for a single tree in one harvest is between 270,000 and 300,000 bells depending on the size of the bag buried. The tree will continue to bear fruit after you harvest it, so once you get a lot of these in your town, it’s best to harvest them before letting others in via your open door. Otherwise they can swipe your money. I haven’t timed it, but money trees usually take a little longer to grow than standard fruit tree (or just a plain sapling).

The money for the tree can come from anywhere, it doesn’t matter what – I just sell off tons of stuff until I’m carrying 100k in bells, then bury it. It helps to raid other towns for their non native fruit. This whole thing goes faster once you have a town full of non native fruit yourself.
This effectively breaks the money system and lets you pay off all the mortgages in pretty quick fashion once you get a couple of 300,000 bell trees going. Plus you can buy all the expensive crap in the city. :)

In fact, that’s the whole reason I did this, as my three year old plays with me, and I wanted to outfit my room with the entire princess line of stuff that the game will start selling in the ritzy town store in April. A bed there costs 300,000 bells, it’ll take a few million to get everything, so I will need a boatload of cash for all that. :)

Me and my golden shovel standing in front of a money tree after it ripens (takes about a week after planting). That’s 90,000 bells you’re looking at. I planted a bag of 30,000 bells. 


  1. so can you plant the tree and ‘grow’ it by going forward in time? or does that ruin it?

  2. Yeah, you can timewarp to get the money. However, something I didn’t have in my original text is that money trees are not 100% guaranteed. A couple of factors:
    1) The max payout a tree will give is 90,000 bells. If you plant 100,000 bells in the ground, the most you’ll get up is 90,000, so there’s no advantage to burying more than 30,000 bells at a time.
    2) However, planting more than 30,000 increases the possibility that the tree will grow. Planting 100,000 bells gives you a 100% chance the tree will grow, but you of course lose money doing that. So money trees are a roll of the dice. There’s a chart at the link below showing the percentages.
    And finally, once you harvest the money, the tree will not continue to grow money, you have to replant if you want more.

  3. thanks so much for the quick reply and link…appreciate it! have another question, my apologies for being lazy and not digging thru junk to find the book that came with the AC game. i’ve been reading different comments about using wi-fi and going to other peoples towns. how beneficial is this? and how do we go about doing this? do you have to be ‘invited’ by someone else?
    my girls and i are so hooked on this game…it’s crazy. thanks again for your help.

  4. Going to other towns breaks the monotony of the same town all the time. It’s also helpful for getting fruit that’s not native to your town.
    If you go to that link above and read all of it, you’ll find all kinds of tips. Basically, you have to add a friend, and that friend has to add you. The code you need to add you can get from the dog on the right by the gate.

  5. Joe Siegler says

    Go read this one. It has info on how to exchange friend codes.

  6. I recently saw a star on the ground so i dug it up thinking it was going to be a fossil, but it turned out that it was something called a “pitfall seed.” I was just wondering what you are able to do with this and does it have any value?

  7. So can you bury an axe on Animal Crossing Wii will that turn golden to or will it rot and also a animal from my town said if you bury a axe it will rot is that true???
    Also I wanted to ask if you knew how to get lots of money without earning it like a baysic cheat!!!!
    Animal Crossing Wii ROCKS!!!!

  8. Joe Siegler says

    No, the only tool that will turn golden by burying it is the shovel. Bury a shovel, and dig it up four days later and it’s golden.
    To get a golden axe, you have to throw it into the fountain in your town. That doesn’t show up until you donate 700,000 bells to the town fund. The first 200,000 are for an extra bridge, then the next 500,000 are for the fountain.
    There is no “basic cheat”, like a traditional cheat code like that.
    Also, Jess.. I tried replying to you directly via email after you posted this, but your email bounced. If you’re gonna post, use an email that works, so you can be replied to. :)

  9. Jess & Martin says

    Dear Joe I am so sorry if my e-mail account did not work.
    Also how do you get a fountin in your town because I havent got one???.
    Also can you have a wedding on animal crossing and can you have a baby cos me and my boyfriend where whondering.
    Jess & Martin

  10. Jess & Martin says

    Dear Joe,
    On animal crossing the other day I got fatter for some reason and my boyfriend said are you pregnant? And it was because me and my boyfriend live together and sleep together but how could i get pregnant on AC that happen? why? And on the bus stop it said “City or Hospital” So that is how you can have your baby.
    Jess & Martin

  11. I already told you how to get a fountain. Read my last post again.
    As for weddings and babies.. Nope. Doesn’t happen. The bus is only for going to the town. You cannot have a baby in the game.
    I STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU GO TO THIS LINK AND READ IT. You will find out a lot more there.

  12. Jess & Martin says

    Dear Joe
    How come you said that there is no weddings and babys how come I have had a baby already and I am getting married on the 21st April 2009 to Martin the flowers have been chosen and the baby turned up yesterday so I have been realy busy. Also I have a dress and a hunnymoon planed and a wedding chaple booked and people invited brisemades chosen vicar chosen.
    From Jess & Martin


    Can Yoy REALLY get married? That Would be awesome. So how do you get a boyfriend plez tell me?????!!!!!!


    Heey Jess & Martin, could you please reply on how to get a boyfriend or is it just another charactor that just lives with you, as your saying you live and sleep together? but your soo lucky, and what game is it… is it Animal Crossing: City Folk or Animal Crossing: Let’s go to the city?? Please Help, and email me at
    From someone who is REALLY REALLY DESPERATE!!! X

  15. hey i was wondering if anyonw ants to be friends i have no friends ad would like some on this game. that way i can make more. my friend code is 0947-3986-7567. like i said name is joe. and the town is hawaii. ( i know its a state but w/e)

  16. My money tree grew money once and then just stopped. Is that supposed to happen? And how do you get married and have a kid on the game? It never said anything about that

  17. Yeah, a money tree grows just once, you have to plant in a new spot after that.
    You cannot get married and have kids. Game doesn’t do that.

  18. ok thx just i heard people saying that the money grows back in 2 or 3 days do i got confused. and i just asked about marrige and having kids on animal crossing cause i notice other people on the blog talking about it….

  19. People might be getting this game confused with Harvest Moon where marriage and children are possible. A lot of similarities with planting of trees what whatnot between the two games.

  20. Katie Neale says

    Im so confused. Can you or can you not have a baby and get married? Some people are saying yes some are saying no… Im gonna try it myself and see what the out come is. If anyone knows the TRUTH please tell me!

  21. Katie Neale says

    Im so confused. Can you or can you not have a baby and get married? Some people are saying yes some are saying no… Im gonna try it myself and see what the out come is. If anyone knows the TRUTH please tell me! Also if you can have a baby and get married…how? I dont no how to have one so TELL ME THAT ASWELL!?

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