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alerce

[uh-ler-suh] /əˈlɛr sə/
noun
1.
the wood of the sandarac tree.
2.
a Chilean evergreen tree, Fitzroya cupressoides, having furrowed, reddish bark and overlapping leaves.
3.
an incense cedar, Austrocedrus chilensis, of Chile.
Origin
1835-1845
1835-45; < Spanish < Arabic al-arz the cypress
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for alerce

alerce

/əˈlɜːs; æˈlɜːsɪ/
noun
1.
the wood of the sandarac tree
2.
a cupressus-like Chilean pine, Fitzroya cupressoides, cut for timber
Word Origin
Spanish: larch, from Latin larix, influenced by Arabic al-arz
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Encyclopedia Article for alerce

(species Fitzroya cupressoides), coniferous tree that is the only species of the genus Fitzroya, of the cypress family (Cupressaceae), native to southern Chile and southern Argentina. In the wild it grows to become one of the oldest and largest trees in the world. The alerce is thought to be a southern relative of the giant sequoia of North America. The oldest known alerce is believed to be about 4,000 years old. The alerce is often shrubby when raised in cultivation, but a native forest tree may reach a height of 45 m (about 150 feet) and attain a trunk diameter of more than 3 m (10 feet). The alerce's small, narrow leaves are typically arranged in whorls of three and have distinct white bands running down their length. The tree's reddish brown wood is lightweight and durable and is used for general construction

Learn more about alerce with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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