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Natural stands of cork oak can support diverse ecosystems.
For example, in parts of northwestern North Africa, some cork oak forests are habitat to the endangered Barbary macaque, Macaca sylvanus, a species whose habitat is fragmented and whose range was prehistorically much wider.
Virgin cork (or 'male' cork) is the first cork cut from generally 25-year-old trees.
Usually five people are required to harvest the tree's bark, using a small axe.
The process requires training due to the skill required to harvest bark without harming the tree.
Other fungi can cause leaf scorching, powdery mildew, rust, and cankers.
The most virulent cork oak pathogen may be Diplodia corticola, a sac fungus which causes sap-bleeding sunken canker wounds in the wood, withering of the leaves, and lesions on the acorns.
Quercus suber, commonly called the cork oak, is a medium-sized, evergreen oak tree in the section Quercus sect. It is the primary source of cork for wine bottle stoppers and other uses, such as cork flooring and as the cores of cricket balls.