Quercus suber is slow-growing and long-lived, some individuals surviving to 250 years of age. Cork oak landscapes are mosaics of forest habitats, comprising cork, holm and deciduous oak species, stone and maritime pines, wild olive trees, maquis (a type of Mediterranean shrubland), and pasture.
Cork oak bark has been harvested for thousands of years, and with good reason. The Romans discovered that it would float and used it for buoys in fishing nets, as well as for making sandals. Today it is most commonly known for its use in wine bottle corks.