Cork is the outer bark of the cork oak (Quercus suber L), an endemic tree of the Mediterranean Basin that occupies more than 2 million hectares worldwide.
Cork extraction is practiced in the Western Mediterranean and especially in the Iberian Peninsula, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria. In Spain, cork is grown mainly in Extremadura, Andalusia and Catalonia.
"Cork" is also the name by which the cork oak is known, a very long-lived tree that has a productive life of between 150 and 200 years. Thanks to its ability to regenerate, the bark can be extracted at intervals of between 9 and 14 years without damaging the tree.
The first peel takes place when the cork oak is between 35 and 40 years old. Generally, it is practiced between the months of June and August, depending on the weather. It is an eminently manual process, with an axe, although machines have recently been designed to facilitate the cam.