[Span.] The bark of a tree similar to the oak in appearance. The trees grow for 15 years before the cork is gathered, and some trees live over 150 years. They are found in Spain, Italy, and Portugal. The cork forests of Spain cover 620,000 acres. The bark is cut lengthwise, and stripped off in sheets in July and August. After a year new bark forms, and the process is repeated every three or four years. The sheets are soaked in water and placed under weights, and when dry are ready for use. These sheets are cut into corks by machinery. They are first cut into narrow strips, then they are cut into different-sized pieces for bottles, and then rounded. Cork is used for stoppers because it is elastic, so that after being pressed into the neck of a bottle it fills the space and allows no air to pass in nor any of the contents to escape. Cork is also used for soles of slippers and in the making of life-boats and life-preservers.