Published July 2014  •  Updated February 2024  •  Read Time: 9 minutes
Petrified Wood is a type of fossil created by mineral preservation.  When a tree is submerged in water and quickly covered up by sentiment, it is possible for the organic wood to be gradually replaced by silica minerals on a cellular level.  The fossil that is created is incredibly detailed, preserving every curve and ring.  The fossil can be a nondescript brown or brightly colored, even multicolored depending on which minerals preserved it.  Confers trees, like pine and fir, are the most likely to fossilize, but deciduous and palm trees can also fossilize.  Petrified Wood is a wonderful choice for grounding, patience and transformation.

Petrified Wood petrified wood meaning

Petrified Wood Healing Energy

Spiritual Healing Properties

Petrified Wood is a wonderful stone for grounding and transformation in every aspect of our lives. It gently nudges us into alignment, with our feet firmly planted on the good Earth and our heads held high to the sky. Petrified Wood is particularly good for people with natural gifts in Earth magic/medicine or anyone who wants to deepen their connection to the natural world. It also makes an excellent talisman for past-life healing and recall, as well as for deepening our ancestral connections. Petrified Palm wood encourages us to slow down, to relax, to worry less and to enjoy the present moment. Petrified Palm Wood Teaches that transformation and manifestation doesn’t need to be hard, but can instead be something we gently allow to happen.

Metaphysical Properties Petrified Wood
Chakra Root and Third Eye
Element Earth
Numerology 77
Zodiac  Leo

Emotional Healing Properties

Petrified Wood has a very soothing and calm energy. It dissolves false images and emotional fears, and helps us get firmly rooted back in reality. Petrified Wood teaches us patience, and that slow and steady growth will often serve us best. Rather than struggling to change, it encourages us to find the flow that matches our natural strengths so that change is relatively easy. It reminds us that transformation is rarely instantaneous, but if we trust ourselves and take baby steps, change will happen. During times of stress or depression, Petrified Wood helps us focus on what is most important and to find that quiet place of peace and serenity that resides deep within us.  It encourages us to take better care of our families and to treat strangers as friends we just haven’t gotten acquainted with yet. Petrified Palm Wood softly serenades with the promise that all is Love, all is Light, and all will be well.

Mental Healing Properties

Petrified Wood reminds us to keep it simple. It encourages us to take time to relax and just be in the moment. Petrified Wood is particularly useful for examining long-held belief systems and patterns. It helps us determine whether these beliefs and patterns still serve us, and if not, then it assists us in gently releasing them. Petrified Wood helps us to “stop sweating the small stuff” and focus our attention on the things that are within our power and worth our time to positively influence.  It also can help us to get “out of our head” and to listen better to our physical body, our heart, and our spirit.

Physical Healing Properties

Petrified Wood is believed to be one of the very best stones for stabilizing health. It is said to help soothe nerves and stimulate the metabolism. It is also believed to help cleanse and balance the liver and gallbladder. It is most often used by metaphysical healers to strengthen the back and provide alignment for the skeletal system.  Petrified Palm Wood in particular is said to be exceptionally relaxing and rejuvenating.

Explore crystals with similar energies

These crystals have an energy similar to Petrified Wood

Geology of Petrified Wood

Where does Petrified Wood come from?

Fossils are found around the world, but large deposits are relatively rare.  Some of the best deposits are protected areas and the fossils remain in place. Petrified Wood most often comes from Madagascar and the United States.  There are other notable deposits in  Argentina, Australia, Canada, China, Egypt, Greece, Indonesia, Libya, Namibia, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Thailand.

Mining and Treatments

Most Fossils are mined from the primary deposit and typically in their original relationship with the host rock.   Fossils may be found on the surface of the earth or uncovered in any kind of mining environment. Except in the case of extremely valuable fossils, such as dinosaur bones, most fossils are mined as a secondary finds.  Petrified Wood is found in many locations, often occurring as entire forest, sometimes entire trees are found.  Many of these Petrified Forests are protected and it is illegal to remove the fossils.

While fake fossils can be made, it is typically only worthwhile if the fossil is exceptionally valuable, such as a dinosaur.  Most common fossils such as Petrified Wood are fully natural, enhanced only by cutting and polishing.

Petrified Wood Placeholder
Petrified Wood

Do healing crystals speak to you?

At Moonrise Crystals our healing stones sing songs of peace and freedom.  That’s because they are truly ethically-sourced.  And that matters.

Mineral Family

A fossil is the remnant or impression of an organism which lived in the past. Fossils come in many different forms and, depending on what is being preserved, the fossilization process can also be very different.  The three most common forms of fossils are unaltered preservation (most shells, fossil teeth, and organic material in Amber), mineral preservation (Petrified Wood and most dinosaur bones), and fossil impressions (leaf prints and footprints).

Unaltered preservation typically involves marine or lake dwelling invertebrates, such as Coral, mollusks, sponges, etc.  The organism is fossilized in an unaltered state, a process aided by the fact that the animals’ skeleton is calcareous (calcium carbonate) and can remain virtually unchained when fossilized.  Calcium carbonite is also the main chemical components of Aragonite and Calcite.

Mineral preservation by contrast involves calcareous water seeping into the remains and gradually replacing the organic matter with minerals.  The minerals may be a grey or tan color, just like the surrounding sedimentary rock.  But when a stone is “agatized” it may be quite colorful.  In the case of Petrified Wood, the organic matter is replaced on a cellular level, preserving incredibly detailed patterns.

Petrified Wood’s energy works well with its family – other Fossils.  Try it in combination with Agatized CoralSand Dollar Fossil, Shell Fossil, Turritella Agate, and Vatican Stone.

Petrified Wood Formation and Crystal Associates

Fossils are remnants of organisms living in a past geological age. Most are preserved in fine-grained sedimentary rock such as limestone or shale.  Typically the soft parts of the organism decompose quickly and the hard parts, such as shells and bones, remain in place longer. Eventually the remains gradually turn into stone.

Petrified wood is the fossilized remains of ancient trees which flourished millions of years ago. Typically when a tree dies, it decomposes relatively quickly, leaving no trace behind. But occasionally, a tree may fall into a river or be swept away in a flood. When this happens there is a chance that the tree may be quickly covered with fine-grained sedimentary materials, such as clay or ash. As the wood decomposes, its outer structure is preserved and replaced by various silica minerals found in the sediment, usually Chalcedony, and occasionally Opal. Depending on which trace minerals are in the silica, the Petrified Wood may take on a variety of colors, and may even be iridescent.  While any tree can potentially be fossilized, most Petrified Woods are a type of conifer tree, similar to modern Pine, Fir, and Redwood trees or a variety of palm wood.

Petrified Wood’s energy works well with its “friends” – crystal associates formed in the same geological environment.  Try it in combination with Chrome Chalcedony, Green Opal, Red Jasper, and Yellow Jasper

Mineralogy Petrified Wood
Rock Type Fossil – mineral preservation
Major Minerals Chalcedony or Opal
Color Varies.  Often brown but can be quite colorful depending on the mineral composition
Texture Varies, depending on tree species
Transparency Opaque
Special Features If opalized, may be iridescent

History of Petrified Wood

The word “petrified” comes from the Greek petra meaning “rock.” Petrified Wood ranges in age from the Devonian era (390 million years ago) when the first woody plants appeared all the way to present age.  It takes only 100 years for Petrified Wood to form, with older and more colorful pieces commanding the highest prices.  Sometimes a single tree will become petrified, but whole forests can be created when an area is buried in ash by a volcanic explosion.  The color of the Petrified Wood depends on which minerals replace the organic wood.  Over 40 different minerals have been observed in these fossils, the most common being silica minerals like Chalcedony, Jasper, and Opal.

Any kind of tree can be fossilized, including both conifers and deciduous.  The most common type of Petrified Wood is from an extinct confer araucaria which is similar to the modern Monkey Puzzle Tree.  Another variety that is fairly common and easy to identify is Petrified Palm Wood.  These fossils usually come from the Cretaceous Era and the Oligocene Epoch (145.5 – 33 million years ago.) Petrified Palm Wood has spots and tapering lines, rather than the tree ring circles seen in other varieties.  The spots and lines are due to the rod like structure in the grain of the palm wood.

Two of the most well-known deposits are in the American southwest and on the island nation of Madagascar.  The fossils in the American Southwest come from a variety of confer species as well as gingko trees, which flourished 218-211 million years ago.  The Petrified Wood in Madagascar is only slightly older at 220 million years and seems to be exclusively from araucaria  Considering the size of these two deposits and the relatively close time period, it begs the question, what happened to cause two distant forests to both turn into stone?

Monkey Puzzle Tree, Amber

Monkey Puzzle Tree

Around 220 million years ago, the supercontinent Pangea began to split apart.  As the tectonic plates shifted, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions became increasingly common.  By 200 million years ago, the Triassic Era came to an end with an explosion of volcanic eruptions causing a mass extinction event.  The ash from the various explosions covered forests around the world, turning some of them into stone.  A similar event happened 20 millions years ago in Indonesia, when the regional tectonic plates began to shift between India, Indonesia and Australia.  Indonesia is prone to volcanic eruptions, as it lies along the Ring of Fire.  One or several of these eruptions resulted in a huge mass of ash which covered the forests and coastline, creating both Petrified Palmwood and Agatized Coral.

Petrified Wood is found in locations worldwide and has many myths associated with it. One of the most interesting myths belongs to the Apache Tribe in the American Southwest. This region is home to Petrified Forest National Park, the largest fossilized tree deposit in the world.

According to legend, in the beginning days wood did not burn and so the People had to live in the cold and eat their food raw. One day the trickster god, Coyote, decided it was time for a change. He tied a torch to his tail and began to run all over the world, deliberately lighting forests on fire! All over the world, trees burst into flames. Because while they may have been immune to “normal fire,” this was “trickster fire,” a divine element far more potent and powerful! Coyote’s tail swung back and forth, touching trees as he ran. Not wanting to light the entire world on fire, he kept his tail from touching rocks. As a result of this wild run, trees are now flammable while rocks remain impervious to flames.

Of course, Coyote missed a few trees along the way, and sometimes even whole forests. Since these ancient trees weren’t touched by divine fire, they remain fire-proof to this day.

Find Your Perfect Stone

From 41 countries and 238 varieties, use our advanced filtering to find your perfect stone.