Portugal is located in the south western part of the European continent and it has slowly emerged as one of the premier first world nations depicting stable economic growth supplemented by good quality living conditions. The cork oak tree is an evergreen oak tree which is grown in various parts of the African continent as well as in south west Europe but it is in Portugal that these are abundant and Portugal in fact accounts for about 50% of the world cork production. The cork oak tree, which has the botanical name Quercus suber L., can grow up to a maximum height of around 20 m though in the places where the conditions are more favorable for its growth, it is a bit short in height. The leaves of the cork oak tree are dark green as it is an evergreen tree and is about 4 to 7 cm long having sharp uneven edges.
History of cork
One of the premier products of Portugal which contributes greatly to its economic growth is the cork which is obtained from the bark of the cork oak tree and is harvested for a period of about 10 to 12 years. Portugal accounts for about 50% of the total cork production in the world and the Mediterranean type climate of Portugal is immensely conducive to its growth. Cork is a vegetable tissue and because of its versatility it has had a variety of uses from being used in fishing boats and roads, as floor tiles etc. though it’s most prevalent use has been as cork stoppers in wine bottles. This makes it evident how significantly the cork production supplements wine production in Portugal as well.