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The first cork oak seedlings planted at the Arboretum site in 1917 were propagated from acorns sent to Charles Weston at the Yarralumla Nursery by Walter Burley Griffin (the Architect who designed Canberra). Cork Oak is the one of the few trees able to regenerate their bark. Cork is a kind of bark where the dead cells are waterproofed by a wax called suberin. Most trees produce some cork but the cork oak produce lots! Generally when individuals think of harvesting, they think about the removal of that plant for that season.  The cork oak though is the only tree you can remove all of the bark without harming the trunk. On this painting you can see the bright orange trunk of the Cork Oak tree – that’s there the bark was just harvested. For thousands of years cork has been harvested by hand, with an axe that has changed little. Like sheering sheep, the bark can be stripped for its cork once every 9 years.  One tree, which lives up to 200 or 300 years, can be harvested over 16 times.  This means that generations of families are harvesting the same tree in the same location over decades. These agriculturists are highly skilled in how to chop off the bark without damaging the cambium layer of the trunk of the tree.  In fact, they train for roughly 8 years and are the highest paid agricultural workers in all of Europe.

Cork Oak Forest 100 years celebration walk

Valentyna Crane

AUD$1,850
Size: 92w x 92h x 3d cms
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Acrylic on canvas

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Additional Information

The first cork oak seedlings planted at the Arboretum site in 1917 were propagated from acorns sent to Charles Weston at the Yarralumla Nursery by Walter Burley Griffin (the Architect who designed Canberra). Cork Oak is the one of the few trees able to regenerate their bark. Cork is a kind of bark where the dead cells are waterproofed by a wax called suberin. Most trees produce some cork but the cork oak produce lots! Generally when individuals think of harvesting, they think about the removal of that plant for that season.  The cork oak though is the only tree you can remove all of the bark without harming the trunk. On this painting you can see the bright orange trunk of the Cork Oak tree – that’s there the bark was just harvested. For thousands of years cork has been harvested by hand, with an axe that has changed little. Like sheering sheep, the bark can be stripped for its cork once every 9 years.  One tree, which lives up to 200 or 300 years, can be harvested over 16 times.  This means that generations of families are harvesting the same tree in the same location over decades. These agriculturists are highly skilled in how to chop off the bark without damaging the cambium layer of the trunk of the tree.  In fact, they train for roughly 8 years and are the highest paid agricultural workers in all of Europe.

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