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timberline

[tim-ber-lahyn] /ˈtɪm bərˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
the altitude above sea level at which timber ceases to grow.
2.
the arctic or antarctic limit of tree growth.
Also called tree line.
Origin
1865-1870
1865-70, Americanism; timber + line1
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for timber-line

timberline

/ˈtɪmbəˌlaɪn/
noun
1.
the altitudinal or latitudinal limit of normal tree growth See also tree line
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for timber-line

timberline

n.

1867, from timber + line (n.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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timber-line in Science
timberline
  (tĭm'bər-līn')   
A geographic boundary beyond which trees cannot grow. On the Earth as a whole, the timberline is the northernmost or southernmost latitude at which trees can survive; in a mountainous region, it is the highest elevation at which trees can survive. Also called tree line.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for timber-line

timberline

upper limit of tree growth in mountainous regions or in high latitudes, as in the Arctic. Its location depends largely on temperature but also on soil, drainage, and other factors. The mountain timberline always would be higher near the Equator than near the poles if it were not for the abundant rainfall in equatorial mountainous regions, which lowers the air temperatures. The timberline in the central Rockies and Sierra Nevadas is around 3,500 metres (11,500 feet), whereas in the Peruvian and Ecuadorian Andes it is between 3,000 and 3,300 metres (10,000 and 11,000 feet). In much of the central and southern Rockies there is a double timberline: the usual high timberline below which there is a belt of normal tree growth; and then a low timberline below which no trees grow because of low precipitation and high temperatures.

Learn more about timberline with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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10
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