last update   7/24/17

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Mills Geological

High-quality, identified petrified wood and plant fossils from around the globe


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Beth and Jim

Jim@millsgeological.com



Laurel (Umbellularia sp.)

Santa Barbara Canyon, near New Cuyama, California

** Location, location, location.  This sweet slab of laurel not only has terrific patterning and beautiful chocolate coloration, it is from a highly unusual locality.  Wood from this area is rarely found on the market.  New Cuyama comes from the Chumash Indian name for "clams," and is located in far northeastern Santa Barbara County, California.  Well named because indeed the area contains considerable deposits of fossil clams in marine strata which interfinger with terrestrial deposits with only occasionally finds of petrified wood.  These interfingering deposits are ancient seashore environments which changed back and forth from marine to terrestrial as sea levels changed and tectonic forces started pushing up land mass at the point where the Pacific Plate is being subducted under the North American Plate.  This nice laurel is the ancient ancestor of present day Umbellularia californica trees which occupy coastal habitats.  They go by the common name of “Bay Laurel” and are the source of the bay leaves used in cooking.  Interesting geology, interesting fossils, interesting etymology all wrapped up in a single specimen of handsome petrified wood.

6” x 5” diameter on polished face; slab varying from 1/8” to 1/4” in thickness  $89

Palm    (Palmoxylon sp.)

Catahoula Formation; Oligocene

Lake Sam Rayburn, Texas

** This is a NICE slice of palm with good preservation of ground mass as well as vascular bundles.  The Lake Sam Rayburn area has been a popular collecting site for Texas rockhounds for many years, and this slab is a good example of why they like the area.  Many of us are not lucky enough to hunt there or find there!  The locality consistently produces attractive specimens.   Be sure to look at our photomicrograph of this specimen.

6 x 4 inches on polished face; 1/2” thick slab    $55

Dicot (Fabaceae Family)

Yegua Formation, Eocene

Chambliss Ranch, Madison County, Texas

** Here’s another interesting dicot from Madison County, approximately midway between Houston and Dallas! Check out our photomicrograph and note the extreme amount of parenchyma surrounding each vessel in the wood. There are several families of angiosperms that feature large amounts of this “vasicentric” parenchyma and the Fabaceae is the most likely candidate for this specimen. It may be a Legume in the subfamily Caesalpiniodeae, but there are far too many very similar legume woods in the subfamily to be able to make a determination using only a transverse view.  Since we are not willing to cut up this slab in order to obtain a longitudinal and tangential view, we will simply go with a family diagnosis!  Beautiful piece, nice thick cut.

6.5” x 5” on polished face; 1” thick slab    $139


A tree guy is a tree guy is a tree guy ... even in Estonia

This Tamme-Lauri Oak is almost 700 years old, and is the thickest and oldest tree in Estonia.  It stands in a farm field about one hour south of Tartu, Estonia.  So we just had to find it, of course.  Since there’s no petrified wood in Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, the living thing will have to suffice!

In the 1970’s the Tamme-Lauri oak was fitted with a lightning rod which runs up the trunk of the tree.  But that was not all.  The center was “cleaned out” and filled with 8 tons of concrete -- with the knot holes serving as vents!  We are happy to find that it is leafed out for summer and looking healthy.

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