Frequently Asked Questions


How long does it take petrified wood to form?

The entire permineralisation process takes, at the very least, thousands of years. All the petrified wood we source is millions of years old.

Petrified wood is an extraordinary gift from nature, a relic that has been present on earth for millions of years. As each original tree and minerals infusion are entirely unique, each piece of petrified wood is completely one of a kind – if you purchase a piece of petrified wood it will not be the same as any other. The piece that strikes your eye is completely unique. Petrified wood is exceptionally rare – only a small proportion can be cut and polished into specimens.

As a result, it becomes prized by collectors who truly appreciate its magnificence. Others are just captivated by this curious and beautiful expression of nature. The natural beauty of petrified wood, combined with expert polishing, is a sculpture carved by nature. As a result, cutting-edge interior designers utilize it as a fascinating focal point of the finest homes. Petrified wood is also easy to take care of. It has a hard, durable surface which can easily be cleaned with glass cleaner. It is impervious to stain.

Permineralisation occurred when the original prehistoric tree fell into mineral laden water, mud or volcanic ash. Due to being blanketed with the water, mud or volcanic ash, the wood would be starved of oxygen which is the driving force of decomposition. With the wood decaying at a far slower process than usual, it would slowly become infused with minerals which would eventually crystallise, replacing its original fibres. The end result is petrified wood, a fossil of the original piece of tree in the shape and format of a rock.

Our polished specimens can be mounted on a base as a table or as a spectacular wall mounting. We can furnish a table base for you or you can source one yourself if you prefer. We can also advise pieces to compliment your home’s aesthetic. We have the capability to fabricate various bases and display mounts for homes, businesses and museums.

Each piece of petrified wood has a different value based on size, rarity and natural beauty.

The difference is striking. Lower priced petrified wood has been mass produced and polished without expertise. We have over 50 years experience sourcing and polishing petrified wood. Our specimens are from Arizona, Oregon and Washington, home to the highest quality petrified wood in the world.

The most common minerals found in petrified wood include iron oxides, manganese oxides, carbon, chromium, copper, cobalt and silicon dioxide. However, there are many more possibilities. The unique combination of minerals included in the petrified wood are dependent on the minerals present in the water/mud/volcanic ash that coated the wood for millions of years.

Quality petrified wood is extremely rare and impossible to find in bulk. Each of the pieces in our collection have been selectively sourced from Arizona, Oregon and Washington, which is the home of the finest wood in the world. Our inventory has been carefully selected for one thing: beauty.

The word petrified is derived from the Latin word “petro” which means “rock” or “stone.” It references the wood transforming to rock.

Depending on where the petrified wood has been sourced, age can range from 20 million years to 300 million years. Specimens from Arizona are approximately 280 million years old and those from Washington and Oregon are 38 million years old.

Small quantities of petrified wood can be found worldwide but the best quality is found in Western USA. This is where all our petrified wood is sourced from.

The elements that infuse petrified wood produce the different colors – for example carbon produces black, iron produces red, etc. Find out more about petrified wood colors.

Petrified wood is quartz which is a natural stone. It is much harder than granite or marble – even a sharp knife will not damage the surface.

Yes, petrified wood is much heavier than regular wood. In comparison, one cubic foot of petrified wood weighs 97lbs while a cubic foot of water weighs 62lbs.

Yes, petrified wood is the preserved remains of a prehistoric organism (a tree) so it is a fossil. The original organic material has been replaced by quartz. A dinosaur fossil in a museum has undergone the same process – the original bone has been replaced by quartz. Unlike other types of fossils which are usually impressions or compressions, petrified wood is a three dimensional representation of the original organic material.


Immediately after any sale we create a custom-made crate with careful cushioning and appropriate material. Delivery is made between one to four days, depending on the distance from our showroom. Overseas shipments take longer depending on the carrier (air or ship) and country of destination and clearance.

Delivery is done by professional carriers. In exceptional circumstances the specimens can be delivered in person.

Not without prior arrangement.

We have a modest showroom at our shop in Massachusetts and a display at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show which is held each February in Arizona.

You can view our inventory and order online.

You can contact us via email here or visit our shop in Massachusetts prior arrangement.

Possibly, depending on the individual circumstances.

Refunds are accepted (but generally our customers are very happy with their purchase). 


Ralph found his first piece of petrified wood when he was 10 years old. He has been sourcing, cutting and polishing petrified wood for over 30 years. Ralph has been at the helm of Russell-Zuhl for over 30 years after purchasing the business from his good friend Herb Zuhl.

Russell-Zuhl was launched in 1980 by husband and wife team Joan Russell and Herb Zuhl. Over the years they gained access to the sources of the finest petrified wood in the world, which are in the Western States of the USA and became the only business to sell such large specimens of spectacular quality. Over 30 years ago, while on the search for his own piece of petrified wood, Ralph met Herb Zuhl and developed a strong friendship with him. He then purchased the business and applied his own cutting and polishing knowledge to the specimens. Read more about Ralph’s petrified wood journey.

We specialize in petrified wood and it is the only product we produce.

You can see examples of past work here.

We have sold our petrified wood specimens to the most prestigious museums and educational institutions in the world, including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C., the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Royal Museum in Toronto, Yale University in Connecticut, Houston Museum in Texas, Guanghuan Liu Museum in China, and the finest homes and offices worldwide.

We always try to accommodate custom requests. Many of our most beautiful pieces have been special orders.

Yes, we love to work on special projects. We have a range of raw petrified wood specimens you could choose from to create your dream piece.

No we do not offer rental, sorry.

We use a five part polishing process using carborundum grit and a final polish of cerium oxide. The result is a smooth and sturdy mirror-like finish which can easily be kept clean with Windex. Our polishing is held to an uncompromising standard – our products do not leave our storeroom until they are perfect.

No trees are destroyed to produce petrified wood as the wood originates from a tree which has naturally fallen in the prehistoric age. All of our petrified wood has been sourced from private land and is completely legal.

We have worked with many private businesses, museums, universities and interior designers. Learn more about our work with businesses.


All our petrified wood is from Arizona, Oregon and Washington, where the finest quality petrified wood in the world can be found.

Petrified wood can be anything from 30 million to 300 million years old. It was formed in the prehistoric age.

The sizes and weights are different for each of our petrified wood specimens, but sizes range from 20 inches (50cm) to fourteen feet (4.2m). Due to the inside being completely fossilized, petrified wood is heavy. A nine feet 10 inches (3m) specimen weighs around 150lbs. The largest piece we have ever excavated weighed 45,000 lbs.

As each specimen is infused with an entirely unique combination of natural materials and minerals formed in the prehistoric age, each color combination of petrified wood is entirely unique. The colors of our specimens can range from brown and tan colors to splendid blues, yellow and bright reds.

Our prices vary depending on size and color. Price can range from $500 to $200,000.

A large piece of petrified wood potentially could be cut to make several smaller products. Please contact us directly to inquire about this.

Yes, you are free to choose your own base for your petrified wood table, or we can often furnish appropriate bases.

Yes, each piece of petrified wood is entirely unique. Petrified wood was formed in the prehistoric age when a tree fell and was infused with minerals, turning it into quartz. The entirely unique combination of tree, natural material (water, mud and/or volcanic ash) and minerals means no two pieces are the same.

Petrified wood is a geographical wonder, a magnificent gift from nature. How many other things in the world were formed when dinosaurs roamed, and were saved from decay by a natural gift from earth? Each piece of petrified wood is entirely unique, never to be replicated throughout history. Petrified wood is also spectacularly beautiful. Learn more about petrified wood.

Petrified wood brings an organic element to its surroundings and is commonly the focal point of its environment. It brings warmth and an appreciation for nature to any home. Often customers make bases for the specimen that compliments their decor. We can advise on pieces that would work well in your home.

Petrified wood is usually the most talked about piece in any room. It can create spectacular tables and wall mountings. As well as exuding warmth and excitement, petrified wood has a story – it was formed in the prehistoric age and is completely one of a kind due to the unique combination of natural materials and minerals that created it. Each piece of petrified wood is entirely one off.

Many of our petrified wood specimens are used as dinner tables, side tables and conference tables. The surface is harder than steel and will not scratch.

Due to our expert cutting and polishing process our specimens are completely smooth and mirror-like. To clean the specimens all you need to do is wipe them with Windex.

There are no laws regarding the use of petrified wood. However, certain countries do not allow its export. All of our petrified wood is acquired legally from private land.

When choosing a piece of petrified wood for your home, our best advice is this: be lead by passion. Be drawn to the piece that speaks to you. Find out more about choosing petrified wood for your home.

PO Box 1246
Holyoke, MA, 01041

[email protected]
Phone: 1.413.427.1277