Cork oak bark

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One of the typical, centuries-old uses for these forests was the extraction of cork bark from the trees. The wider the tree, the larger and more valuable the planks obtained. Every 9 years, at the start of the summer, cork is extracted. The bark can be taken from this tree which then regenerates this. The smooth, dark-red trunk that's left after extraction is eye-catching. The cork planks, once extracted from the tree, undergo a series of traditional processes to obtain the material used to make corks. They are pressed and left to rest (9-12 months); then they are classified based on the use; then they are boiled and left to rest again (7-15 days). At that point, the manufacturing processes started with operations like scraping, slicing and marking, to turn the slices into prisms the size of a bottle cork. The operator doing the cutting had to be skilled to make the most of the material. Sant Feliu was once a very important centre for the cork industry and today, despite the heavy decline of said industry, some businesses are still operating.