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Native to southern Chile and Argentina where it covers nearly 20° of latitude from Cape Horn northwards.
Forest plots have only been established in Britain in the last 20 years and nothing is known about provenance variation. Form in existing British trials is often poor which may reflect poor provenance choice. The wide natural range suggests that seed sources from the XIth region (Coihaque and Cochrane) should be adapted to a British climate.
This is a fast growing species which is moderately tolerant of exposure and likely to be more cold hardy than rauli or roble. Best growth is on moderately dry to fresh soils of poor to medium nutrient regime. Not suited to compacted, alkaline or peat soils or to those with very poor soil nutrient regime.
Subject to major episodes of defoliation by caterpillars in its native range, which have appears to have increased in severity possibly as a result of climate change. Otherwise few pathogens are known on this Nothofagus species.
This is a species which could find an expanded role in upland forests as part of a diversification strategy.
Lenga is categorised as a Plot-stage species. These are species that have not been planted on any significant scale but have demonstrated silvicultural characteristics in trial plots and have qualities suitable for forestry objectives to justify further testing and development.
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