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Cork oak: an original harvest
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The cork used to make stoppers comes from the oak tree (Quercus suber) that bears its name and whose vegetation area extends around the Mediterranean, as well as into Portugal. The tree needs not be cut for the cork harvesting, only the removal of the bark is necessary. Since it takes time for the bark to regrow after each debarking, it is only harvested once every nine or ten years. A cork oak can live 300 up to 400 years; if treated properly, it can produce up to 17 cork harvests in its lifetime.
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