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Petrified Mushroom Question


Suzrusk

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Hello all, 

 

my dad acquired this item. He was told it was a petrified mushroom. Has anyone seen one of these or can confirm? 
 

thanks for your help 

C14372BC-F0A6-4329-B0D4-384FA5CF9471.jpeg

C065CDDE-BA5B-4D9E-B4ED-94ABDE54CFF6.jpeg

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It may be a mushroom, but probably not fossilized or mineralized.

Could be just very old and very dehydrated/desiccated.

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My first thought was wood too…. Can we get some side views?

 

Edited by Randyw
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It looks like essentially a scab that has grown over the spot where an abscised limb became infected. 

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Hello Suzrusk and welcome to the forum!

I think that is what I have heard called "tree cancer", although its not structured like cancer in animals. When a damaged tree gets infected by fungi, like Rockwood said, often in the cold and wet season the fungus grows faster than the tree, reaching the surface. In the warm and dry season, the tree tries to close the lesion by rapid growth, over and over again. That way these layered gnarly outgrowths are built. So its rather a lignified mushroom than a petrified one.

Best Regards,

J

Edited by Mahnmut
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These growths are likely more resistant to rot than most wood cells are. I've seen the odd cone shape as a collar on the branch when much of the trunk has rotted away.

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8 hours ago, Randyw said:

My first thought was wood too…. Can we get some side views?

 

I can get side views it happen to be at our family cabin so it may be a few weeks before I can get one. It is really heavy

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Thinking about the size of this I wonder if the layers we see arent the original tree rings, somehow eroded out instead of what I described above.

I´d expect the side view to look somewhat bowl-shaped.

Either way I am quite sure this is some interesting kind of wooden growth, not a fossil.

Best Regards,

J

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Take it from a wood turner--this is a nice example of a modern wood burl. They are usually formed by bacterial or viral infections and can form a wide variety of abnormal growth patterns in the grain pattern and growth ring structure. The darker inner section is either heartwood or rotting wood from an infection.

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=wood+burl&tbm=isch

 

https://northernwoodlands.org/articles/article/what_is_the_difference_between_sapwood_and_heartwood

 

I can also see "checking" which is the cracking and splitting when wood dries too fast--something woodworkers try to avoid or minimize.

 

Nice modern piece of woodworking and not a fossilized mushroom which are so rare as to be virtually nonexistent.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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Hum… interesting. I am familiar with burls and it isn’t like that. To me it is similar in look to a shelf mushroom. Once I get a side view that may help

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From the front I would agree that I get the 'wood ear' shelf fungus feel from it. From he back I see nothing but wood texture. Perhaps this piece of artistic carving was made to resemble such a fungus or was inspired by the same. :)

 

Does not have the right texture for a fungus and like is heavier and more dense than you'd expect for a shelf fungus.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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I'm going for all of the above, with the exception of a mushroom. The dark center may well have had fungus growing in it, but I see no indication of a fruiting body. The tree produced normal, but perhaps accelerated, growth rings in response to the infection. This was eventually overgrown by the disturbed grain seen in burl.

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8 minutes ago, Suzrusk said:

Is there a way to determine the age?

If it is indeed fossilized (stone), the best way would be to determine where it came from. Is it a fossil ? That's a different process.

Just occurred to me. If it isn't it will burn.

Edited by Rockwood
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Does it feel like stone or wood? What sound do you hear if you tap it with something hard (like a screwdriver)? Does it give a dull thud like you would expect if you tapped a wooden bowl or ring as you would expect if you tapped a ceramic bowl? If it behaves like wood (which is what I would expect from the images I see--all I have to go on) then it is modern and its age would be counted in years and not millions of years.

 

 

Cheers.

 

-Ken

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