Fighting Climate Change by Harvesting

Cork Bark

The Cork Oak Tree is unique among trees in that only the bark is used to make wood products. It is not cut down and then replanted like most forestry efforts. Instead the bark is harvested from the tree every 9 years and it regrows more bark. This leaves the tree and the forest undamaged to protect the soil and native animal and plant biodiversity. The most amazing part of the harvest is that when the bark is trimmed off, the tree can absorb 3 – 5 times more carbon than it could before the harvest! It’s not unusual to have a 200 – 300 year old tree still producing cork bark.

Cork flooring is actually made from the waste of the cork wine stopper manufacturing process so cork flooring is a recycled product. All pigments, varnishes and adhesives that Globus Cork uses in producing its tiles are water-based, solvent-free and have no VOCs.

Learn how purchasing cork promotes a sustainable cork forest.

Cork Harvesting - Most Sustainable Forestry Program In The World

See cork bark being harvested from the cork oak trees in Portugal's Montado.

The History

of Cork

Cork is harvested from the Cork Oak tree that is grown primarily around the Mediterranean basin. Portugal is the largest producer of cork today. The benefits of cork were known to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians who used it for bottle stoppers for olive oil and wine, floats for fishing nets, sandals, insulation on shipping vessels and even roofing in Northern Africa. By the 1300s, cork was a major export of Portugal and royal decrees established regulations over the harvesting and protection of this valuable national resource. In the 1930s, the “9 Year” law was passed which forbid the harvesting of cork bark at any interval less than 9 years. Harvesting of virgin growth cork trees is outlawed until the trees reach 60 centimeters in circumference. Cork bark is still harvested from the tree in a centuries old tradition with hand tools.