4.9" Polished Petrified Wood (Cherry) Stand-up - McDermitt, Oregon
This is a 4.9" tall section of petrified cherry wood from McDermitt, Oregon. One side of it has been polished to a glossy finish and the base has been cut flat. This specimen comes from the premier petrified forest in the world, spanning over 100 square miles on the Oregon/Nevada border.
Petrified wood is the name given to wood that has been turned into stone (fossilized) through the process of permineralization. All of the organic matter becomes replaced by minerals, while much of the original structure such as tree rings in retained. For this to happen the wood needs to be buried in an environment both low in oxygen (preventing decomposition) and with flowing, mineral-laden water. The coloration is due to the various minerals that are present during fossilization. For example red colors are due to iron compounds, greens due to copper, etc.