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Tree line is at 1600-1700m in Slovenia, because Slovenia has higher snowfall and colder winters than the rest of the Alps.
Also, people actually lived in the valley, but Alps have a tradition of seasonal mountain pastures, which means that herdsmen moved their livestock (mostly cattle and sheep) to mountain pastures (planine in Slovene, that’s where the name comes from) above the tree line during the summer. Produce was grown by the people who stayed in the valleys.