Talk:Petrified wood

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Petrified Wood

I have this image, which offers a lot more detail. Adding or replacing? --Dschwen 01:56, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I just added it at 300px just to see what it looked like with the earlier pic. What do you think? I'd say add it. Play with size maybe. -Vsmith 02:43, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
With two pics in the article I think I prefer the Wikipedia default thumbnail size. The fullsize pictures on the other hand should be as big as possible (in agreement with --Dschwen 02:54, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Works for me. That is a great photo at full scale. The article could use a bit more info ... maybe some day. -Vsmith 03:16, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Additional information[edit]

How long does it take petrified wood to form?

I would really like to know that also. I think this article needs a little more info. It's why I searched the article out. --Shinto 07:03, 11 March 2006 (UTC)

How do these trees form, if they are going through layers that span 100 000 years? :X --Ningyou 03:52, 30 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes, more specific information relating to the age of such fossils is needed here. Such wood fossils are paleontologically "recent", because hardwood plants/trees came into being after the Cretaceous period of geologic time came to an end some 65 million years ago - along with the dinosaurs - because of a cometary collision with Earth. -- Khorasani 14:26, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

I just come back from a trip to Indonesia, where they had vast quantities of petrified wood for sale. The origin of this is Kalimantan (Borneo, Sulawesi, Sumatra and Java. The coloers vary from black to white with a lot of yellowish, orange teints inbetween. I am not a scholar on this subject so I happily leave it to other, more subject educated, people to update the main page. I'll try and leave a picture of quite a large trunk (about 2,000 KGS). Willem Couwenbergh, 21 May 2007, 16.45H

The article linked to should be quoted in in context as it is being abused "How long does it take wood to petrify? Probably less than 100 years. These logs were petrified during the Upper Triassic and have remained so until the present. The organic matter needs to turn to stone before it rots completely."

I will add the missing portion of the quote to the article - Paul Baird —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pgb62uk (talkcontribs) 08:39, 18 February 2009 (UTC)

Three problems.
1) I can't find any such quote on the page linked.
2) Even if it was there once, it presumably only refers to that single site, not to fossilised woods in general.
3) This article gives figures of both 1000 years and 100 years. Both figures can not be correct. Mark Marathon (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 22:50, 10 April 2012 (UTC).


The articles of Fossil wood and Petrified wood are on the same subject. Is there a reason why we should have two articles on this, especially when neither is large enough at the moment to warrant a content fork? Aditya(talkcontribs) 05:39, 25 January 2008 (UTC)

Are these articles about completely the same thing? In Fossil wood, it says, "Fossil wood may or may not be petrified"; if that is correct, we would still need a separate article on fossil woods that are not petrified. In Petrified wood, it says, "Petrified wood is a type of fossil", indicating membership, but not equivalence. - Neparis (talk) 20:23, 25 January 2008 (UTC)
At the same time the article on fossils say — "Fossils (from Latin fossus, literally "having been dug up") are the mineralized or otherwise preserved remains or traces (such as footprints) of animals, plants, and other organisms" — and the article on petrification says — "In geology, petrifaction or petrification is the process by which organic material is converted into stone or a similar substance." The other types of fossils apparently are fossil records of animals, microbes, paw prints and such stuff. The "may or may not be petrified" part seems to a description of extreme conditions, may be good for a section at the bottom of page. Aditya(talkcontribs) 01:34, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

I'm to add my opinion into this place. Fossil wood isn't really fossil. It's really actually petrified wood since it's been "turned into stone" and thus is petrified. I think it should be merged. Fossil wood should be put into petrified wood instead. This way, it is more "correct" due to the petrified part, instead of fossil, where it has to be dug up, but petrified wood isn't dug up. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:28, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

Merge per nom. — Frecklefσσt | Talk 20:33, 4 May 2009 (UTC)
Why the merge template has been removed without actually merging? The consensus apparently was for merging. Aditya(talkcontribs) 13:57, 13 June 2012 (UTC)

Petrified wood is a kind of fossil wood, but not all fossil wood is petrified, as the fossil wood article makes clear. Wood in submerged forests is considered fossil wood because it has been preserved long past the point at which it would ordinarily have been expected to have decomposed, but it isn't petrified because its tissues have not been significantly mineralized. So no, this article and the one on fossil wood shouldn't be merged--and the photo of a stump at Ynyslas Beach should probably be deleted, as it depicts post-Ice Age fossil wood, not true petrified wood. (talk) 14:32, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

The "photo of a stump at Ynyslas Beach" was never deleted. Can knowledgeable editors do so, or explain why not. Also does the "Petrified Acacia wood" image actually depict petrified wood? Doesn't appear so to my layman eyes. --Sarabseth (talk) 19:34, 13 January 2018 (UTC)
I contributed the photo to the article and the first thing to say is that it may or may not need to be removed from this article but not deleted as that would mean deleting it from commons and there is no reason to do that. One person has suggested above that it should be removed from this article but nobody has taken them up on that. Having looked at this article and the fossil wood article they both talk about the distiction between petrified wood and fossil wood but there are no citations to support what they say. Personally I don't know what process formed the stumps at Ynyslas, they are the remains of a submerged forest that are exposed each day at low tide and certainly seem to be as had as stone so for all I know they could be petrified. I have seen them described as 'petrified' in newspaper reports such as this one which I why I put the image here in the first place but I am aware that newspapers are not the most reliable source for this sort of thing. However, until someone comes up with some reliable sources for the claims made here I'm not going to remove the image.Richerman (talk) 00:12, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The page you link to doesn't actually use the term "petrified" and 4.500 is very young for the process of petrification to have taken place. Its best to modify the image description to reflect that the stumps are NOT petrified. ("hard" means nothing regarding petrified or not)--Kevmin § 00:21, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
Oops sorry, I did some google searching and and it looks like I picked the wrong hit, however, the term is used in this National Geographic article. I know that the stumps were preserved by being buried in anoxic conditions but I don't know what process has hardened the wood since then. Looking at the Fossil wood article there is no indication of how long the petrification process takes and the Submerged forest article doesn't say anything about the preservation process. If you say that 4.500 years is too short a time I accept that you probably know more about the subject than I do, and I hope you will add something about the timescale to the fossil wood article, but as I'm sure you know, it's just an opinion unless backed up with a citation. I'm not opposed to the photo being removed from this article if it doesn't belong there, but I'm not going to do it as the lack of citations doesn't give me any confidence that the information given here is correct. Richerman (talk) 01:11, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
The only time the Nat Geo article uses "petrified" is in the opening byline. The article body at no point calls the forest petrified, and being in peat like conditions the forest was on its way towards mummification, but exposure stopped that process as well. The onus is on you to show that the image in question is accurate, and there is no evidence that mineralization happened to the forest.--Kevmin § 01:27, 14 January 2018 (UTC)
That's a pretty fine distinction you're making between the byline and the main text of the article, and it's not really down to me to remove the image as I'm not arguing for it to be kept in. However, having now made a google search for "petrification process of wood" it seems the process takes millions of years and if I'd known that originally I wouldn't have added it to the article so I'll remove it. However, there's no need to get on your high horse about it, it has after all been flagged up as a problem for over a year. Richerman (talk) 02:04, 14 January 2018 (UTC)

Concerning Wood and trees[edit]

This page is titled "Petrified wood". The problem is that "wood' is a specific type of plant tissue, and it already has a Wikipedia article that explains what it is. In contrast the material referred to as "Petrified Wood" is mostly the remains of plants such as palms. ferns and lycophytes, that do not produce wood of any sort. Some "Petrified Wood" is literal "petrified wood" from gymnosperms and even a tiny number of angiosperms, but most "Petrified Wood" is just the stems of tall herbs, and this not literal "petrified wood". There's no problem with having a page on "Petrifed Wood", but we need to be consistent in our use of capitalisation, to make it clear that Petrifed Wood (ie the three dimensional fossilised stems of tall plants) is not the same as petrified wood (ie the wood tissue that has been petrified).

We also need to avoid using the term "wood" to refer to this material. I've replaced "wood" with "stem tissue" and similar terms throughout which avoids the problem of deciding when editors were referring to wood, and when they were referring to non-woody stems. I suggest that any future edits follow the same standard.

We had a similar problem with the usage of "trees" in this article. Trees are tall plants with woody stems, and once again their is a Wikipedia article dealing with what they are and what they are not. Since most Petrified Wood is not from plants that produce wood, it therefore doesn't come from trees either. I think I've corrected this problem by simply replacing "tree" with "plant" throughout.Mark Marathon (talk) 23:02, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

Can you show that the article here is using the term petrified wood in a manner that is inconsistent with the paleontological literature?--Kevmin § 07:46, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Petrified wood/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Last edited at 22:00, 3 May 2007 (UTC). Substituted at 02:47, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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UK's submerged forests are not made of petrified wood[edit]

I've removed the text: – many examples of petrified submerged forests can be found at low tide around the coast of England and Wales.< ref >Campbell, J.A.; Baxter M.S. (29 March 1979). "Radiocarbon measurements on submerged forest floating chronologies". Nature. Nature Publishing Group. 278 (5703): 409–413. Bibcode:1979Natur.278..409C. doi:10.1038/278409a0. S2CID 30855253.< /ref > Certainly, each of these localities has preserved stumps of wood but none has trees that have undergone petrifaction i.e. turned to stone. Geopersona (talk) 09:27, 2 January 2021 (UTC)