Cork oak , Deep red trunks , Portugal
Deep red trunks

Cork trees are vital source of income for thousands of people

© Inacio Pires / 123RF
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Cork oak Portugal
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Discover Cork oak

Cork oak is spread out all over the country. It can be found in all regions, though most notably in Alentejo. Cork, for which Portugal is the world's top exporter, is among other things, used to make bottle corks, but patience is required in its production. Indeed, the tree must reach the age of 20 to 30 years before undergoing its first ?stripping' (cork harvest), then another nine years will be necessary before a second one. It is only after the third ?corking' that the cork is usable. The planks are then piled up in the open air, later boiled, and finally sorted by thickness and quality. The natural bottle corks will be made out of higher quality cork, whereas lesser quality cork will be turned into shoe soles or table wine corks.

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Cork oak

Cork oak , Meadows and Corks , Portugal
Meadows and Corks

Portuguses cork trees account for about 50% of the world cork production

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Cork oak , Cork Oak , Portugal
Cork Oak

Conditions are favourable for Cork Oak in Portugal

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Cork oak , More Cork , Portugal
More Cork

Cork is obtained from the bark of the cork oak tree

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Cork oak , Portugal
Cork oak © Mauro Rodrigues / 123RF
Cork oak , Portugal
Cork oak © Inacio Pires / 123RF
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