nothofagus procera

Nothofagus alpina

Nothofagus alpina (syn. N. procera) (Rauli) is a species of plant in the Fagaceae family. Deciduous tree, it grows in Chile and Argentina , it reaches 50 m (160 ft) height and more than 2 meters (6.5 feet) in diameter. Its distribution goes from 35 to 42° South latitude. It is found on the Andes. It tolerates low temperatures and heavy winds. It has a straight and cylindrical trunk with grey bark.

Monoecious and leafy. Alternate leaves, peduncles in 3 to 12 mm long, oblong ovate to lanceolate ovate, with glands and hairs regularly distributed, undulate margins and softly serrated. Lamina in 4 to 12 x 2,5 to 5 cm, pinate veins, pilose and very notorious, mostly bellow the leaf, new borne twigs pubescent.

Flowers little unisexual: male in clusters of 3 flowers, briefly pedicelate, numerous stamens, male flowers disposed in 3 inflorescences supported by a peduncle in 1 cm long.

Fruit made up by a cupule of 4 narrow valves, in its interior 2 to 3 little yellowish nuts 6 mm long, a little hairy, being the two lower triangular, tri-winged, and the flat internal, bi-winged.

Rauli wood is pinkish with brown-reddish color and has a very fine grain. It is easy-to-work, and light heavy. It is used in furniture, barrels for very fine Chilean wines, doors, veneers, shingles and floors. It has been introduced as ornamental in the British Islands and it grows well in Western Scotland, where it gets the necessary rainfall for its good growth; minimum 750 mm (30 in). It is very promissing as a forestry tree in Western Great Britain and regenerates easily after coppicing. Provenance sources from different places from its natural environment were tested in cultivation in Scotland. Trees recollected from Nuble, which is the closest place to the Equator line, which are the most damaged by frosts, unfortunately seeds from that place were supplied to a lot of commercial growers in the 70’s in the United Kingdom. Provenance sources from Neuquen in Argentina were the hardiest. Selection from Malleco, Chile, which is the place from first trees were planted in the British Islands gave good hardiness results. And it has been introduced also to the North Pacific Coast of the United States and Norway. It is threatened by habitat loss.

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