The Magnificent Sobreiro monumental remains the world’s largest oak tree. Affectionately the cork oak tree was referred to as The Whistler Tree (Sobreiro Assobiador). This tree was planted in 1783 in the village of Aguas de Moura, in Portugal’s Alentejo region. The 240-year-old tree was voted European Tree of the Year in 2018, it has been ranked as a “Tree of Public” since 1988.
Ultimately, it was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest cork oak in the world.
The term Whistler comes from the sound that birds make.
The Cork oak tree is also known as
- A. The Whistler Tree
- B. The Whistling Tree
- C. The Lover’s Tree
- D. None of the above
What Makes the Sobreiro Monumental So Unique?
A wine bottle or glass bottle needs a stopper to preserve the wine inside from oxygen and airborne bacteria. After so much research on other objects, the wooden cork became the best of all. Notably, it was made from a specific oak tree Quercus Suber. The cork oak grows in a particular climate zone, and for different reasons, Portugal dominates the modern world of cork production.
Portugal covers half of the commercial cork-producing oak trees, bearing over 1.6 million oak trees. Amongst 1.6 million oak trees, the Whistler tree stands strong and gigantic. It was cultivated more than twenty times. The Whistler provides more corks than any other cork tree.
In 1991, it provided 1200 kilograms of corks which was more than 100 thousand corks. In addition, the cork made from the tree is 100% natural, it is environmentally friendly and renewable. The Whistler tree weighs equal to two elephants.
From Romans to Egyptians, they used oak corks in multiple ways such as fishing gear, footwear, and amphora where they carry liquids. Oak corks come under the Portuguese discoveries, it was used in great wineries and in caravals. They found out that the secret to preserving wine is a simple wooden cork.
Sobreiro Monumental provides shelter for nomads and migrants. It is a famous spot for lover’s trysts. Natives call the tree“Casamenteira” or “Matchmaker” as it is famous for lovers’ romantic gatherings.
Specialized professionals will carry out the extracting process from May to August. It takes 25 years for a cork tree to be harvested for the first time.
In 2000, the tree was almost lost when the land was cleared without authorization. The surrounding trees of Sobreiro’s monumental were destroyed by humans illegally. However, the villagers protect the Whistler tree in a natural setting.