I just read all that (almost verbatim) when I asked the intardnet....As a rule,,,millions of years,,,,but,,,"natural conditions" are extremely variable.
The fallen/dead tree fills up with silica crystals, when over time, millions of years, give ya the petrified wood.
But, this process can be sped up under certain conditions, naturally occurring ones, say, fallen trees around a volcanic location, covered in ash heavy in silica.
And that,,,,is all I learned in that one elective course I needed to graduate on time.LOL
Nice find! Take it to your local university and have them take a look at it.I was rototilling an uncles garden when I was 12.
Tiller pulled it up from about 6" deep. The area found was Orchards Washington (East Vancouver).
It's the end of some tool handle. It fits my hand like a glove.
Actually, if water--or more likely mud--prevents oxygen from reaching the wood, it can last for thousands of years. There are 2,000 year old boats that sank in mud that have been located, dug up, and preserved in museums.Dry wood won’t petrify and wet wood has to petrify before it rots. How long does it take for wet wood to rot? Whatever time span that is, petrification would be less.
I can't scratch it with a knife..It doesn't really look petrified to me, and your description doesn't sound like it could have petrified if it were a tool handle. Petrified wood is usually formed in a bed of volcanic ash if I remember correctly. The three requirements are silica from the ash, a lack of oxygen, and an abundance of ground water.
If you can scratch it with a knife, it's not petrified. Silica is a lot harder than steel.
I'm thinking it was randomly polished in a river at one time and broken in half. They still find stuff like that along the Columbia river below Vantage. I was on a leveling job east of vantage and we found plenty of unpolished petrified wood. Somewhere I have a chunk that looks like a 2x4 board, just really heavy.I can't scratch it with a knife..
It's smooth as glass except for where you see the obvious deterioration between the wood grain.