If you’ve recently lost a close friend or relative, you may be looking for creative ideas for spreading their ashes. Planting a tree in memory of your loved one is a unique way to honor them. Trees serve as a living memorial tribute and have a positive environmental impact. Planting a tree is a wonderful way to celebrate the life of someone special, and it can be done in many different ways. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Plant a Tree in Memory: A Living Tribute to Your Loved Ones
Planting a tree is a creative way to remember and honor the legacy of your loved one. It allows them to continue to have a positive impact on the environment, even after death. Trees provide wildlife with food, homes and they give us shade from the sun. They clean our air and store carbon dioxide. when you plant a tree you’re helping future generations experience and appreciate nature in its purest form. As your tree grows, you can witness the beauty and life that your loved one continues to bring into this world, shaping landscapes with each season. This type of memorial can bring comfort and healing to friends and family.
What are the benefits of planting a tree compared to other memorial options like headstones or plaques?
Placing a memorial marker, such as a headstone or plaque, is a traditional and meaningful way to pay tribute to the life of someone you love. However, a lot of people are looking for greener alternatives that are more connected to nature and the cycle of life. Not only will you be able to visit and reflect at the physical location of the tree, but trees can also remind us how we're connected to the natural world. It can be comforting to watch your tree grow and change with each season to seeing the wildlife come and visit. Some trees planted in memory have been used to help reforest land that was damaged by wildfires or other natural disasters. Some people choose the best of both worlds and plant a tree in memory of a loved one, while also placing a small plaque near the tree. This can be helpful so that when others visit the tree, they can read a few words honoring the person who died. A plaque or marker also helps people know they are at the right tree.
How can you choose the right tree to plant in memory of your loved one, based on their personality and interests?
If you don't already have a specific tree species in mind, there are many different ways to go about it. You may want to think about a location your loved one enjoyed. For example, if your loved one was an avid beachgoer, you can look for a shoreline location and species that thrive near the beach. Another way to find the right tree is to think of the person's character and interests. Did they have a favorite flower or love to garden? Perhaps you want a Dogwood, Magnolia, or other flowering tree. Was fall their favorite season? Maples and Aspens are known for their brilliant autumn colors. We also encourage you to think about the longevity or lifespan of different species. Redwoods often live for hundreds of years, whereas Weeping Willows typically only live for 20 or 30 years.
No matter where you plant or what species you choose, you can take solace knowing you've created a beautiful living memorial.
Once you've chosen the perfect tree, how do you go about planting it and caring for it so that it thrives?
Once you've chosen the right tree species, next you'll want to think about where to plant your memorial tree, and how to ensure it gets the care it needs to become a healthy, thriving adult tree. As you choose the location for your memorial tree, really think about where you want to plant it. Do you want your memorial tree to be easy to visit? Do you want children and grandchildren to be able to visit in the future? A lot of people choose to plant their memorial trees in backyards or on other private properties, and then the next generations are unable to visit after the property is sold. Some parks may allow you to plant a tree in memory of someone, or there are options like memorial forests where you know you'll be able to easily visit your tree.
Depending on the type or species of tree you have chosen, you may need to consider factors such as soil acidity, shade, and access to water (or lack thereof). Doing some research into the specifics of caring for your particular tree species before planting can help ensure that your tree will live a long life. If you can, start with a young tree or a tree sapling instead of a seed. Not every seed will grow into a mature tree, and it can be upsetting if your seed does not grow. Starting with a sapling (or even a more mature tree!) helps ensure you can grow with your memorial tree.
It's just not enough to plant your tree and walk away — you'll need to regularly care for your newly planted tree until it's fully established in its location. Your tree will likely need routine care for a few years such as watering, mulching, and pruning if needed. Caring for your tree will not only foster its growth and stability but also be a unique way for you to stay connected to the memories of your loved one.
Planting a tree in memory of a loved one is a beautiful memorial. As long as you choose the right species for your geography, take care in its planting, watering and growth, and ensure you plant it somewhere you will have access to visit it - we believe it will provide a sense of comfort for you, your family, and any of your friends that visit your tree.If you are interested in spreading ashes around a mature tree in a protected forest - where the tree is already grown and cared for and your family will have permanent access, please reach out to us at Better Place Forests.