MORE than 4,000 trees in the Serrania de Ronda are set to be stripped for cork, the town hall has announced.
In total, 4,100 trees in the Berrueco area are marked to be de-corked, with 1,000 of those only turning 25 years old this year.
Virgin cork is the first cork cut after a tree reaches about 25 years, and is a lesser quality than a more mature bark.
A cork of 50 years is needed to make bottle stoppers for wine and champagne.
Cork oaks live between 150 and 250 years and the bark can be harvested every nine to 12 years.
A bumper cork harvest of around 428,350kg is expected, making a profit of around €600,000.
The Iberian Peninsula is home to more than half the world’s cork forest.