The fossilised chunk of ancient tree trunk in the Karoo National Park near Beaufort West gives a glimpse of the region’s past, a transformed relic of ancient Karoo life.
This is the slowest reproduction, a delayed, three-dimensional “snap shot" of a tree that lived here very long ago. Dead tree petrification or wood transitioning to stone happens via a process called permineralisation, happening by gradual replacement of all the wood tissue.
There is no real tree part left here, apart from its physical image as the cells were physically replaced. Water containing dissolved minerals seeped into the pores of the organic tissue, forming tiny crystal casts upon drying. The organic material of the cell walls was gradually replaced by silicon or quartz as miniature casts of the original organic tissue. The deposited minerals in the water remained as the water itself disappeared, the result a tree of rock or a tree that rocked (Wikipedia).