Author Topic: that boring bleached white crumbly petrified wood  (Read 269 times)

Oxenkiller

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that boring bleached white crumbly petrified wood
« on: May 27, 2019, 03:18:39 PM »
Does anyone ever come across this stuff in their field collecting?  And do they ever do anything with it?

Ever so often, I come across deposits of this stuff.  It is the lowest of low grade petrified wood, usually bleached white, super soft, and with the structure of the original wood very degraded.  Oftentimes, it is found in those ash deposits- you know; the soft white soil that sometimes erodes into those weird looking column-like formations.  Sometimes the center will be silicified into a really brittle dark brown glass-like substance; probably some kind of common opal or hydrated silica deposit.  In very rare cases it will be light brown and/or white and somewhat attractive, though still brittle as heck. 

So is this type of wood even worth picking up?  I came across a couple good-sized pieces of it today out in the field, and I just junked 'em both as leaverites.  I tend to prefer petrified wood that is harder, more colorful or shows more of the original wood grain structure.

Jumpin

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Re: that boring bleached white crumbly petrified wood
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2019, 03:48:34 AM »
Newbie to this site, first post!  Anyway, there’s a spot here in central Oregon where I picked up some of it at one of my first digs ever (yay!).  It also had some roots running through it.  Luckily there was some harder stuff there at that site.  What I did was soak the stuff w white on it in vinegar and it helped.  You’re right about ash too and we do have plenty of that in this area.

treebarjerry

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Re: that boring bleached white crumbly petrified wood
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2019, 09:16:47 AM »
Sounds like opalized wood, Oxen. There is a deposit in central Washington - white chalky cortex and dark brown/black wood inside. very soft. Had some luck knapping the small pieces but the bigguns don't seem to be more than yard rocks.

Oxenkiller

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Re: that boring bleached white crumbly petrified wood
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2019, 08:03:08 AM »
That was my conclusion as well.  I once found a deposit of this stuff that had this nice glassy, translucent light brown common opal inside of it.  This brown common opal was pretty- it looked like melted caramel- and it did make nice specimens but it was too soft and brittle to be of much use for knapping or jewelry.  Most of the other stuff like this I find, including the white logs I came across on Monday, is pretty much junk- there may be some opaque brown or black crumbly stuff in the middle but otherwise pretty much just leaverite-grade.