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For some time, I have thought about close relatives of fossil trees. A few decades ago at former residences, I planted several trees that I thought of as "living fossils." I have since discovered that no such thing is readily available, although close relatives are.

I have considered the dawn redwood, the ginko biloba, and the Wollemi pine for a stick. Although pine is soft, thats what I am looking for, as it may be the only true living fossil tree that I could acquire. Apparently these date back at least 120 million years. Cost may be prohibitive, but what a conversation piece for geological field trips!

http://geology.about.com/od/fossilstimeevolution/qt/livingfossilplants.htm
 

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I've never seen a Wollemi pine. I know of only a few dawn redwoods where I live. All are in a botanical garden, so I'm going to guess wood from those would be pretty hard to find. There are quite a few ginkos around here, tho'. 2 just down the block. Good city trees, and very pretty. I understand the wood is only moderately strong, and is easily carved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I planted a ginko at a house I had built over 20 years ago. The leaves turned a beautiful golden in the fall. But the literature says that these aren't precisely the same as the ancient ginkos. Same goes with the dawn redwood, although I am drawn to that one. If I could buy a sapling cheap (not likely) from a nursery, I'd give it a shot.
 

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There are tree ferns in New Zealand the trunks of which were used as building material by the Maoris in the past, and for making souvenirs today.

http://www.fernwood.co.nz/files/files/Fernwood_catalogue_Aug-2011-LOW.pdf

Maybe the material is suitable to make a decorative cane or walking stick.

Ferns are even more ancient plants than the trees you mentioned above.
 
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