The Plaza (often referred to as the Events Plaza or Town Tree) is the Town center piece in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, replacing the plaza outside the Town Hall in previous games. The plaza holds the Town Tree which is planted at the beginning of the game by the player who becomes the mayor, during a ceremony to mark the occasion.
Many events occur in the plaza. Bug-Off and the Fishing Tourney are two regularly occurring events that take place in the plaza, while special events such as New Year's Eve, Festivale and the Harvest Festival, take place once a year. Redd can be found inside his tent, selling paintings and sculptures in the plaza. Gracie also stands there for her fashion checks.
When there are no events happening in the town, villagers may be found by it, either sitting on the wall surrounding it once it is tall enough, or talking in the plaza.
Once the tree has grown to be a reasonable size, the player can sit on the wall of the town tree and recap the game's events, such as the establishment of the town and public works projects, and villagers who moved into the town.
During the course of the game, the Town Tree will grow larger the longer the game is played. The rate of growth is determined by the number of hours and unique days the player has spent playing the game.
Other than the ceremony at the beginning of the game, events do not directly reference the Town Tree or involve it during the festivities. Villagers will bring up topics about the tree's growth, and will mention it in conversations that are initiated by the player.
The tree has eight major stages of growth throughout the game.
Major Stages of Growth
- 1 day and 1 hour
- Appears as a small tree with a single cluster of leaves.
- 5 days and 5 hours
- Appears as a small tree with two clusters of leaves.
- 20 days and 20 hours
- Appears as a tree with three clusters of leaves from the front, similar to the non-cedar trees in town.
- 50 days and 50 hours
- Appears as a tree with five clusters of leaves from the front. From this stage on, the player will be able to sit on the planter box under the tree to view the town's history.
- 100 days and 100 hours
- Appears as a larger tree with ten clusters of leaves, with a vine creeping up from the base of the trunk.
- 180 days and 180 hours
- 300 days and 300 hours
- 500 days and 500 hours
- Appears as a very large tree with approximately seventeen clusters of leaves. Additional vines also encircle the trunk. The trunk covers the entire planting pot.
From November and all through the winter season, the town tree will start to lose all its leaves gradually. Once Spring season arrives, the leaves will start growing back on the tree to the stage it was before. During the winter, the trunk will still grow as defined in the above section.