Petrified wood results when time and mineralization replace organic material in trees, turning them to stone. The above photo is from the late Triassic epoch approximately 230 million years ago. Petrified forests are found world wide, and most sites are protected by conservation groups and local government agencies. Many paleontologists who study ancient forests are still attempting to unravel the details of their role in afforestation – the original greening of the earth that had a major impact on climate, carbon cycling, and other organisms living in these systems. Some specimens of petrified wood are of high lapidary quality and where not protected, are harvested and sold for jewelry making and other decorative arts.
Petrified trees differ from tree fossils that are one-dimensional impressions left in stone. The world’s oldest tree fossils can be found in Cairo, New York state, dating back 386 million years. The Cairo site predates the Gilboa Fossil Forest, where intact trees more than 26 feet tall have been found. These fossil trees were topped with a system of frond-like, leafless branches somewhat resembling the tree ferns of today.
Amber results from the fossilized sap of ancient trees, as made famous by the Jurassic Park films. Some specimens contain insects originally trapped in the sap, giving us clues as to what insects lived in symbiosis with trees of the past.
Our passion is working for the planning, planting, and maintenance of urban forests in Southwest BC. We serve homeowners, landlords, strata groups, and municipalities in our region. If you are a general contractor, we invite you to call us for site design and urban landscaping.