[ tim-ber-lahyn ]
/ ˈtɪm bərˌlaɪn /


the altitude above sea level at which timber ceases to grow.
the arctic or antarctic limit of tree growth.



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Also called tree line, tree·line [tree-lahyn] /ˈtriˌlaɪn/.

Origin of timberline

An Americanism dating back to 1865–70; timber + line1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for tree line (1 of 2)

tree line


the zone, at high altitudes or high latitudes, beyond which no trees grow. Trees growing between the timberline and the tree line are typically stunted

British Dictionary definitions for tree line (2 of 2)

/ (ˈtɪmbəˌlaɪn) /


the altitudinal or latitudinal limit of normal tree growthSee 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

Scientific definitions for tree line (1 of 2)

tree line

See timberline.

Scientific definitions for tree line (2 of 2)

[ tĭmbər-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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.