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Made with Petrified Wood

Petrified Wood (from the Greek root petro meaning “ rock” or “stone”; literally “ wood turned into stone”) is the name given to a special type of fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation. It is the result of a tree or tree-like plants having completely transitioned to stone by the process of mineralization. All the organic materials have been replaced with minerals (mostly a silicate, such as quartz), while retaining the original structure of the stem tissue. Unlike other types of fossils which are typically impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three-dimensional representation of the original organic material. The petrifaction process occurs underground, when wood becomes buried under sediment or volcanic ash and is initially preserved due to a lack of oxygen which inhibits aerobic decomposition. Mineral-laden water flowing through the covering material deposits minerals in the plant’s cells; as the plant’s lignin and cellulose decay, a stone mold forms in its place. The organic matter needs to become petrified before it decomposes completely. A forest where such material has petrified becomes known as a petrified forest.

Petrified wood forms when fallen trees get washed down a river and buried under layers of mud, ash from volcanoes and other materials. Sealed beneath this much deprives the rotting wood from oxygen –the necessary ingredient for decay. AS the wood’s organic tissues slowly break down, the resulting voids in the tree are filled with minerals such as silica—the stuff of rocks.

Over millions of years, these minerals crystallize within the wood’s cellular structure forming the stone-like material known as petrified wood. The wood, no longer wood at this point, takes on the hues of the minerals that fill its pores.