Cork harvesting



An American video-sharing platform.

Main Research Source
Other Reference Links
What have we learnt?

Some notes…

  • Although the ancient Greeks and Romans knew about the value of cork bark it only began to be harvested commercially in Portugal about 300 years ago. It’s still done by teams of men using hand axes and no viable mechanical method has yet been invented to do the job as effectively.
  • The stripping is only done in mid summer when the bark comes away from the living tissue – the cambium – more easily.
  • The skills needed for harvesting cork are often handed down from father to son.
  • Every 9 years you peel it and you don’t destroy the tree. The more you peel it the better the cork is.
  • What an extraordinary tree! Cork oaks are the only trees in the world from which you could strip an entire piece of bark without killing it.
  • Each tree is daubed with a number to record the year of the harvest. This will remain visible as the bark thickens from the inside, reminding owners that these trees can next be harvested… in nine years time