"Petrified Tree" Top 5 Page for this destination Petrified Trees Tip by GuthrieColin

  Petrified Tree Stump
by GuthrieColin

The petrified tree in Yellowstone is located near the Mammoth Hot Springs area. They were Petrified in the Eocene times about 50 million years ago. Volcanic eruptions in the Yellowstone Caldera created lava and ash flows which surrounded the redwood forests. The abundance of silica in the ash and lava choked the trees and as the process goes, silica basically replaced the living cells of the tree trunk. That these trees were redwoods tell researchers that the area was much wetter in the times when they were formed as the drier climate that is now experienced in Yellowstone would not likely support the needs of a redwood.
These petrified stumps are fragile and their once were 3 stumps that stood on the hillside nearby. The other two stumps were chipped away and taken as souvenirs by thoughtless park visitors who did not realize that their actions were actually destroying the irreplaceable attractions. When you visit the petrified tree today you will find a large fence around it. The fence is to prevent visitors from doing to the last stump what was done to the other 2 and chip away at its facade.
For more petrified tree viewing the hillside of Specimen Ridge contains an entire petrified forest overlooking the Lamar Valley.

Directions: Just east of Mammoth Hot springs before Roosevelt/Tower Junction there is a turnoff which is well labled.
Website: http://www.vacationidea.com/yellowstone_vacation/petrified_tree_yellowstone.html

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Sep 30, 2005
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