The Full Wiki

Cork oak: Wikis

Advertisements

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

(Redirected to Quercus suber article)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cork Oak
Cork Oak in Christchurch Botanic Gardens
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Cerris
Species: Q. suber
Binomial name
Quercus suber
L.

Quercus suber, commonly called the Cork Oak, is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. Cerris. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses. It is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa.

It grows to up to 20 m, although it is typically more stunted in its native environment. The leaves are 4 to 7 cm long, weakly lobed or coarsely toothed, dark green above, paler beneath, with the leaf margins often downcurved. The acorns are 2 to 3 cm long, in a deep cup fringed with elongated scales.

Contents

Ecology

Natural stands of cork oak can support diverse ecosystems. For example, in parts of northwestern North Africa, some cork oak forests are habitat to the endangered primate Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus, a species whose habitat is fragmented and whose range was prehistorically much wider.[1] In Western Europe, namely in Portugal and Spain, the cork oak forests are home to endangered species such as the Iberian Lynx, the most critically threatened feline in the world.[2] The tree has a thick, insulating bark that may have been the Cork Oak's evolutionary answer to forest fires. After a fire, while many of the other tree species merely regenerate from seeds (as, for example, the Maritime Pine) or resprout from the base of the tree (as, for example, the Holm Oak) the Cork Oak branches, protected by cork, quickly resprout and recompose the tree canopy. The quick regeneration of the tree seems to be an advantage compared to other species that, after a fire, return to an initial stage of development.[3]

Harvested cork trees south of Ubrique in Andalusia, Southern Spain, May 2008

Cultivation

The tree forms a thick, rugged bark containing high levels of suberin. Over time the cork cambium layer of bark can develop considerable thickness and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years to produce cork. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree, in fact, no trees are cut down during the harvesting process. Only the bark is extracted, and a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource. The tree is widely cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. Cork Oak forests cover approximately 25,000 square kilometres in those countries (equivalent to 2.277.700 hectares). Portugal accounts for 50% of the world cork harvest. Cork Oaks cannot legally be cut down in Portugal, except for forest management felling of old, unproductive trees, and, even in those cases, farmers need a special permission from the Ministry of Agriculture.

Cork Oaks live about 150 to 250 years.[4] Virgin cork (or 'male' cork) is the first cork cut from generally 25 year old trees. Another 9 to 12 years is required for the second harvest, and a tree can be harvested twelve times in its lifetime. Cork harvesting is done entirely without machinery, being dependent solely on the work of man. It takes around 5 men to havest the tree's bark. This is done with a small axe, and those involved in the process require a lot of training, as it takes a lot of skill and expertise to harvest the bark without hurting the tree. The European cork industry produces 300,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of 1.5 billion and employing 30,000 people. Wine corks represent 15% of cork usage by weight but 66% of revenues.

Cork Oaks are sometimes planted as individual trees, providing a minor income to their owners. The tree is also sometimes cultivated for ornament. Hybrids with Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) are regular, both in the wild in southwest Europe and in cultivation; the hybrid is known as Lucombe Oak Quercus × hispanica. Some cork is also produced in eastern Asia from the related Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis)

Pathogens

  • Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden oak death) has reached Europe and could pose a threat to the cork oak.

Gallery

References

Advertisements

Notes

  1. ^ C. Michael Hogan, 2008
  2. ^ Santos Pereira, João; Bugalho, Miguel Nuno; Caldeira, Maria da Conceição, 2008
  3. ^ Santos Pereira, João; Bugalho, Miguel Nuno; Caldeira, Maria da Conceição, 2008
  4. ^ Abigail Hole, Michael Grosberg and Daniel Robinson, 2007

Sources

External links


Cork Oak
Conservation status
Secure
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Section: Cerris
Species: Q. suber
Binomial name
Quercus suber
L.

The Cork Oak (Quercus suber) is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. Cerris. It is native to southwest Europe and northwest Africa.

It grows to up to 20 m, although it is typically more stunted in its native environment. The leaves are four to seven cm long, weakly lobed or coarsely toothed, dark green above, paler beneath, with the leaf margins often downcurved. The acorns are two to three cm long, in a deep cup fringed with elongated scales.

Contents

Ecology

Natural stands of cork oak can support diverse ecosystems. For example, in parts of northwestern North Africa, some cork oak forests are habitat to the endangered primate Barbary Macaque, Macaca sylvanus, a species whose habitat is fragmented and whose range was prehistorically much wider.[1] The tree has a thick, insulating bark that likely evolved as a protection against forest fires.

Cultivation

The tree forms a thick, rugged and corky bark containing high levels of suberin. Over time the cork cambium layer of bark can develop considerable thickness and can be harvested every 9 to 12 years to produce cork. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource. The tree is widely cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. Cork Oak forests cover approximately 25,000 square kilometres in those countries. Portugal accounts for 50% of the world cork harvest. Cork Oaks cannot legally be cut down in Portugal, except for forest management felling of old, unproductive trees.

Cork Oaks live about 150 to 250 years.[2] Virgin cork (or 'male' cork) is the first cork cut from generally 25 year old trees. Another 9 to 12 years is required for the second harvest, and a tree can be harvested twelve times in its lifetime. Cork harvesting is done entirely without machinery. The European cork industry produces 340,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of 1.5 billion and employing 30,000 people. Wine corks represent 15% of cork usage by weight but 66% of revenues.

Cork Oaks are sometimes planted as individual trees, providing a minor income to their owners. The tree is also sometimes cultivated for ornament. Hybrids with Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) are regular, both in the wild in southwest Europe and in cultivation; the hybrid is known as Lucombe Oak Quercus × hispanica. Some cork is also produced in eastern Asia from the related Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis)

Pathogens

  • Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden oak death) has reached Europe and could pose a threat to the cork oak.

References

Line notes

  1. ^ C. Michael Hogan, 2008
  2. ^ Abigail Hole, Michael Grosberg and Daniel Robinson, 2007

External links

Gallery


Simple English

Cork Oak
Conservation status
Secure
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fagales
Family: Fagaceae
Genus: Quercus
Species: Q. suber
Binomial name
Quercus suber
L.

The Cork Oak (Quercus suber) is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. Cerris. It grows southwest Europe and northwest Africa.

It grows to up to 20 m, but in its native environment it is usually not that tall. The leaves are 4-7 cm long, dark green above, paler beneath, with the leaf margins often downcurved. The acorns are 2-3 cm long.

The tree forms a thick, corky bark. Over time this bark can develop considerable thickness and this is harvested every 10-12 years as cork. The harvesting of cork does not harm the tree and a new layer of cork regrows, making it a renewable resource. The tree is widely cultivated in Spain, Portugal, Algeria, Morocco, France, Italy and Tunisia. Cork Oak forests cover approximately 2.5 million hectares in those countries. Portugal accounts for 50% of the world cork harvest. Cork Oaks cannot legally be cut down in Portugal, except for forest management felling of old, unproductive trees.

File:Quercus suber aka cork
Close-up of the characteristically corky bark

Cork Oaks live about 150-250 years. Virgin cork (or 'male' cork) is the first cork cut from generally 25-year-old trees. Another 10-12 years is required for the second harvest, and a tree can be harvested a dozen times in its lifetime. Cork harvesting is done entirely without machinery.

The European cork industry produces 340,000 tonnes of cork a year, with a value of 1.5 billion[1]. 30,000 people work at it. Wine corks represent 15% of cork usage by weight but 66% of revenues.

Cork Oaks are sometimes planted as individual trees. So they provide a small income to their owners. The tree is also sometimes cultivated for ornament. Hybrids with Turkey Oak (Quercus cerris) are regular, both in the wild in southwest Europe and in cultivation; the hybrid is known as Lucombe Oak Quercus × hispanica.

Some cork is also produced in eastern Asia from the related Chinese Cork Oak (Quercus variabilis).

References

  1. =109. In French échelle longue ("long scale") it is called milliard.

Other websites

Error creating thumbnail: sh: convert: command not found
Wikimedia Commons has images, video, and/or sound related to:

Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message