Once upon a time there was …
not just any tree, but…the
better known as the cork oak
or as it is known in Portugal:
The Sobreiro can live over 200 years and is loved and celebrated. Most of the cork oaks are found in Portugal, where they grow together in vast cork oak forests called Montados.
A Montado is a kind of rocky grassland with its own biodiversity, which is treated with the necessary care. Despite a decline in numbers in Portugal in the 1970s, another 700,000 hectares of cork forest has since been planted.
During its life, the cork oak stores large amounts of CO2 in its bark. By harvesting the cork the tree can absorb up to 5x more CO2 than when it is not harvested. The use of cork stimulates the local economy to maintain and increase cork forests. If they continue to be planted on a large scale, they may well become known as the new green lungs of Europe in the future. Some wonderful initiatives are currently being launched.
Sobreiros may not be felled without reason, nor is that necessary to obtain their cork. Throughout their lives, the trees are cherished and protected. Hopefully we will all continue to do this.