Per fare un albero ...

cork tree

Per fare un albero ci vuole un fiore (Gianni Rodari)

.. e amicizia e amore (PT semester!) 

We are beyond excited to share with you that we just planted four cork oak trees in Ispra!


This is definitely one of our Semester highlights – it was great to work with our JRC Garden Club and Comune of Ispra friends. And it is amazing to think that 200 or more years from now, these trees will still be there, witnesses of the friendship that unites us and all the Ispra community.

The cork oak tree or Quercus suber L. is an evergreen tree, native to the Mediterranean region and was made the National Tree of Portugal in December 2011. This was an unanimous decision of the Assembly of the Republic, after the presentation of a draft resolution, supported by a people’s petition. Legislation in Portugal ensures the preservation of the species; cork oak trees can only be cut down if they are dead or diseased, for example. Also the cork harvesting and maintenance of the trees is strictly regulated.

Most people will know the tree for its thick bark. The bark can be harvested every 9-12 years and it is used for wine corks but also for insulation, flooring and many other products. Check some of these in our made in Portugal section.

The bark is an adaptation to living in hot dry regions (it can protect the tree and enable it to resist to drought and fires) but cork oak trees also thrive in more humid regions. They do suffer the cold weather but we are encouraged by the presence of several other cork oak trees in Ispra and the region!

To commemorate the first anniversary of the elevation of the status of the cork oak to National Tree of Portugal, a specimen of cork oak was planted in the gardens of the Assembly of the Republic. And this year, to commemorate its 10th anniversary we planted 4 beautiful (still small!) specimens in the triangolo Vignella in Ispra.  

colleagues after planting tree
Feeling good after planting 4 cork oak trees - Duarte Oom, Luisa Sousa, Ricardo Sousa e Rita, Margarida e Isabel Araujo. We're thankful to your arms and energy! 


We will celebrate the trees and our friendship with the Ispra community this Saturday 26th June at 10:30h in the Triangolo Vignella. Join us if you can!


We thank our colleagues responsible for the European Atlas of forest tree species for much of the info on the Quercus suber we share in this article. Houston Durrant, T., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., 2016. Quercus suber in Europe: distribution, habitat, usage and threats. In: San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., de Rigo, D., Caudullo, G., Houston Durrant, T., Mauri, A. (Eds.), European Atlas of Forest Tree Species. Publ. Off. EU, Luxembourg, pp. e01ff11+

Want to know more about cork oak trees - listen to our webinar where Duarte talks with Alexandra Correia, an expert on cork oak