cork oak

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cork oak

cork oak, name for an evergreen species of the oak genus (Quercus) of the family Fagaceae (beech family). The cork oak (Q. suber) is native to the Mediterranean region, where most of the world's commercial supply of cork is obtained. It is cultivated elsewhere as an ornamental and has been introduced into warmer regions of the United States because of its economic value. The bark of the tree is stripped off (about every 10 years) and then processed for shipment as commercial cork. There is a cork layer in all trees but it is not as extensive or valuable as in the cork oak. Cork oak is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Fagales, family Fagaceae.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cork Oak


two (or three) species of evergreen trees of the genus Quercus, whose trunk and thick branches become covered with corky bark by the third to fifth year of life. The cork may be removed when the tree is 15 to 20 years old. It is removed once every ten years until the tree is 200 years old. The leaves have dentate or entire margins and are gray and hairy below. The trunk reaches a height of 20 m and a diameter of about 1 m.

Quercus suber grows in the coastal region of the western Mediterranean at elevations to 400–500 m. A closely related species is Q. occidentalis, which is native to the coastal region of Portugal and is distinguished by its thin and pubescent leaves. Both species of cork oak are cultivated. In the USSR they are raised in the southern Crimea and in the Caucasus. A third species, Q. crenata (formerly Q. pseudosuber), grows in southern Europe. Apparently a hybrid of Q. cerris and Q. suber, it has a poorly developed cork layer. The species is grown as an ornamental.


Pravdin, L. F. Probkovyi dub i ego razvedenie v SSSR. Moscow-Leningrad, 1949.
Derev’ia i kustarniki SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cork oak replanting provides tangible environmental benefits, but just as importantly it teaches people inside and outside our industry about the important role cork oak forests -- and natural corks -- play in the ecosystem."
These properties are due to the reaction of cellulose with suberin (the polymeric ester of phellonic acid and suberinic acids, among others), and are not restricted to the bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber), although no other plant structures shows them so clearly.
If the market moves to plastic, a huge industry will be destroyed and the lack of need for cork oak trees will have serious consequences to the environment.
Almost all of Catalonia's 75,000 hectares of cork oak grow in Girona, the northeasternmost of four Catalan provinces.
But a special kind of tree called cork oak has an extra-thick cork layer.
ZOLO Wellness chose to use natural compressed recycled cork originating from the Cork Oak Tree (Quercus Variabilis) from the Shaanxi Province of China.
(TAP) - An agreement was signed between the National Institute for Research in Rural Engineering, Water and Forestry (INRGREF-Tunisia) and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in cooperation with the University of Seoul, for the achievement of a pilot project of rehabilitation and regeneration of cork oak forests in Tunisia.
This study is conducted in Chrea National Park from 2007 to 2008, and is made of pure cork oak forests characterized by a training cork oak, chestnut and yeuseraie.
given its small size tunisia's contrasting biological diversity is remarkable: over a distance of only a few hundred kilometers one can pass from a saharan landscape to lush cork oak forest which is easily accomplished by car in less than a day's time!
The bark of the cork oak is stripped, which can only be done every nine years and leaves the bare trunks a surprising orange colour.
Using cork is good for the environment because it is made from the bark of cork oak trees, it is not an oil-based product like some carpets and some other floor coverings.