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The Cork Tree is Never Felled

All AmCork flooring and wall covering products are all natural cork and made by harvesting only the bark of the cork oak, the tree itself is never felled. The bark requires periodic harvesting in order to preserve the longevity of the tree. Bark is harvested about once a decade from the cork oak, and with regular and proper bark harvests, the trees live for more than a century.

HOW CORK IS HARVESTED

AmCork_bark_regrows_t.jpgRenewable Resource
Cork is an eminently renewable resource harvested from the living bark of the Cork Oak. The properties of cork are derived naturally from the structure and chemical composition of the inner cells. Each cubic centimeter of cork’s honeycomb structure contains between 30 and 40 million polyhedral (14 sided) cells (over 100 million cells per cubic inch). Cork is harvested in a steady cycle that promotes healthy growth to the tree over its expected lifespan of over 200 years. Though the Cork Oak \\"Quercus suber\\" can flourish in many climates, the conditions that favor commercial use lie in a fairly narrow swath that cuts through Western Europe and Northern Africa along the Mediterranean coast.


cork_forest_map.gifThe major cork producing nations
The major cork producing nations provide 2,200,000 hectares (5.4 million acres) of natural cork forest. This number, owing to the mutual efforts of the EEC and various environmental groups, is expected to increase due to the active efforts to protect existing forests and sponsorship of significant new plantings.


AmCork_bark_harvest_t.jpgHarvesting Cycles
Typically, virgin cork is not removed from saplings until the 25th year, and reproduction cork (the first cycle) may not be extracted for another 9-12 years. Cork is harvested in a steady cycle that promotes healthy growth to the tree over its expected lifespan of over 200 years. Cork bark is removed from trees in spring or summer. At this time of year the cork comes away easily from the trunk because the tree is growing, the new, tender cork cells being generated break easily. In Portugal, trees are harvested every 9 years and on the island of Sardinia (Italy) the harvest occurs every 12 years.


AmCork_bark_regrows_t.jpgQuality and Balance
As land is being passed between generations, there is increased interest in forest management. There is an emphasis on creating balance in a tree, much like a grapevine, whereby a properly managed tree has the optimal balance of leaves, branches and cork for vitality. Additionally, cork producers have more active representation in the field and are continually working on increasing cork quality where it starts – in the forest. The natural cork industry comprises one of the world’s most important Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP).


AmCork_only_bark_t.jpgProtecting the Cork Tree
The first Portuguese regulations protecting cork oak trees date to 1320 by then King Dinis. During the 1920s and ‘30s, it became illegal to cut down the trees, other than for essential thinning and removal of old, nonproductive trees. The manufacturing process utilizes every bit of scrap bark for use as cork particles of fuel. As early as 2500BC cork was used as fishing floats in ancient Egypt and in 400 BC cork was also commonly used as stoppers for containers as well as soles for shoes.

DOCUMENTATION:

Installation Guide

COLORS:

All wall tiles are 12" x 24" x 1/4" and pre-finished with a wax finish.

bark_sm_opt.jpg   blizzard_sm_opt.jpg   blueberry_sm_opt.jpg
Bark   Blizzard   Blueberry
         
caribbean_sm_opt.jpg   charred_sm_opt.jpg   cherry_sm_opt.jpg
Caribbean   Charred   Cherry
         
chocolate_sm_opt.jpg   coral_sm_opt.jpg   ebony_sm_opt.jpg
Chocolate   Coral   Ebony
         
grape_sm_opt.jpg   limestone_sm_opt.jpg   midnight-blue_sm_opt.jpg
Grape   Limestone   Midnight blue
         
night_sm_opt.jpg   oceano_sm_opt.jpg   orangewood_sm_opt.jpg
Night   Oceano   Orangewood
         
pumpkin_sm_opt.jpg   rain_sm_opt.jpg   rock_sm_opt.jpg
Pumpkin   Rain   Rock
         
sea_sm_opt.jpg   stone_sm_opt.jpg   tropical_sm_opt.jpg
Sea   Stone   Tropical
         

For detailed information on this product line please visit the AmCork website.

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