Photographer's Note

The cork oak, Quercus suber scientific name, is a oak like the holm . The fruit of both is oak acorn but the cork oak prefers territories up to 800 meters height above sea level while the holm land from 800 mt. up.
Sardinia is full of cork oak, especially in the area of TEMPIO(SS) where there are industries for processing cork, which in addition to traditional cork stoppers are produced thermal insulation panels for buildings.

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 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.

The tree forms a thick, rugged and corky bark. Over time this bark can develop considerable thickness and this can be harvested every 10 to 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 25,000 square kilometres in those countries.
Cork Oaks live about 150 to 250 years. Virgin cork (or 'male' cork) is the first cork cut from generally 25 year old trees. Another 10 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.(from Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by mario carlos (marcan44) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 582 W: 74 N: 1351] (6315)
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