Why Don't Trees Grow Above the Timberline?


Quick Answer

Trees do not grow above the timberline due to a lack of air, heat, and water. The timberline is actually an area of gradual change from tall trees to short, to bushes and finally to no trees at all.

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Why Don't Trees Grow Above the Timberline?
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Full Answer

There are three distinct types of timberlines: the alpine timberline, the desert timberline and the desert-alpine timberline. At the alpine timberline, the elevation is too high for air to be well-oxygenated and temperatures are too cold to sustain tree growth. The desert timberline is a low elevation point where conditions are too dry for trees. The desert-alpine timberline occurs where the elevation is too high and too dry to nurture trees, even if temperatures are warm enough.

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