Oak trees have plenty of benefits, but the most famous one is that the bark yields excellent quality cork without even harming the tree in the process!
Where Do Cork Trees Grow?
Cork trees are native to the countries like Spain, Italy, France, and Morocco.
Furthermore, this evergreen tree can reach up to 100 feet in height. Its thick, corky bark has essential commercial benefits.
The Cork Oak tree is easy to grow and can flourish well in wet winters and hot summers.
The tree thrives in well-draining soil that receives full sun, regular watering, and a layer of mulch covering it.
Moreover, cork is helpful for various purposes, such as for insulation, flooring, and wine stoppers.
The cork’s viability and feasibility make it ideal as a bottle stopper.
However, overharvesting of Cork Oak trees has led to habitat destruction, and their manufacturing process causes the environment to degrade by producing various harmful gases.
Does Harvesting Cork Kill The Tree?
You can harvest cork from the bark of a Cork Oak tree using a process known as stripping.
In the stripping process, remove a thin layer of bark from the tree, and this process does not damage or kill the tree.
In contrast, harvesting the bark of the Cork Oak tree has some benefits. The stripping process initiates new and stronger bark growth and is more disease and pest-resistant.
Additionally, you can harvest bark from the Cork Oak trees 15 times in their entire life.
Extract the bark every 9 to 12 years for better sustainability.
How To Harvest Cork Bark Successfully?
Harvesting of Cork Oak trees requires skillful experience with sterilized tools. Here are some steps for harvesting cork without killing the trees.
- Choose the right time: You should harvest the corky bark of Oak trees in the winter season when the tree is in dormant condition.
- Use sharp and sterilized tools: Use sharp and sterilized tools to avoid microbial infections.
- Pull out the thin layer of bark: The thinnest layer should be pulled out when you are harvesting the cork bark out of the tree.
- Cover the wound: Bandage the wound with Neem oil or Cinnamon extracts to avoid microbial invasions.
- Water regularly: Water the tree on a regular basis to promote healing from the stripping.
- Hire skilled manpower: Hire some skilled people to extract the bark from the Cork Oak tree to avoid unnecessary wounds during the process.
From Editorial Team
Harvesting cork bark will not kill the tree and is sustainable for a number of reasons.
Firstly, they are renewable; you can re-stripe them every 9-12 years.
Besides, these plants are fire-resistant and help prevent the forest fire.