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Planting a Remembrance Tree to Honor a Loved One

June 15, 2019

Planting a tree in memory of a loved one is a gift that will grow over time and provide a living memorial for you to visit and remember your friend or relative. If the loved one was cremated, memorial tree urns provide everything needed for a tree to grow from part of your loved one as a way of creating a truly unique testament to someone’s life.

Photo credit: yarruta/

Memorial trees are planted in honor of a person who has passed away, whether the person chose a traditional burial or cremation. Memorial trees can often have plaques with the person’s name, birth and death dates, or a short inscription.

In conjunction with the U.S. Forest Service, the National Forest Foundation will plant a memorial tree in National Forests from California to Vermont. A beautifully printed card is included with each memorial tree planting, which features your loved one’s name, birth and death dates, and a personal message from you.

Since 2009, the NFF has planted more than 3 million trees and shrubs within our National Forests to restore forests that have been damaged by natural events like wildfires, hurricanes, floods, and insect infestations. These trees help restore our National Forests’ ecosystem functions. They filter water, store carbon, and provide healthy wildlife habitat, playing a big role in revitalizing these incredible landscapes.

In the Jewish tradition, the Tree of Life is a beloved symbol. The Jewish National Fund has linked its tree planting program and the revitalization of the forests in Israel with the honoring and memorializing of individuals. Each tree planted comes with a certificate of your choice, mailed to the recipient with your personal message.

Biodegradable Tree Urns

Following cremation, you can transform your loved one into a living tribute through a tree, plant or flowers with a biodegradable cremation urn. These living memorials bring great comfort, give back to the environment, and provide a peaceful, natural setting to visit and remember your loved one. Returning someone to nature allows your loved one to live on in a different way.

Simply scattering or burying your loved one in the ground following cremation might not be beneficial to the surrounding plants. A person’s remains after cremation are high in sodium and have a PH level that can be harmful to plant material. However, several biodegradable urn companies have developed delivery systems that provide the rich nutrients and balanced PH needed for a seed or seedling to grow from your loved one’s body following cremation.

Living Urn is America’s first bio urn and planting system designed to grow a beautiful, enduring memory tree, plant, or flowers with your loved one post-cremation. They provide a commemorative bamboo case with a biodegradable urn, soil, special additives and wood chips, along with a seedling appropriate to the zone in which it will be planted. A tree seedling provides a head start on growing into a lovely, mature tree.

EterniTrees provides a biodegradable cremation urn that also transforms your loved one or pet into a living, thriving tree using their tree seeds. If for whatever reason, your seeds never sprout, EterniTrees will send you new seeds to plant over the spot where your loved one is buried.

You can use as little or as much of your loved one as you wish in the biodegradable cremation urns. Some families choose to share their loved one in order to plant multiple trees in the person’s honor.

Where to Plant Memorial Trees

You may choose a park or cemetery where groves of trees are planted in memoriam. Memorial parks and gardens are quiet, contemplative places where trees can be purchased as memorials. Memory Forest is committed to replacing tombstones with trees and cemeteries with forests. They have established exclusive partnerships with leading cemeteries and memorial gardens throughout the country and offer families a beautiful, tranquil and permanent resting place to plant their memory tree and have it cared for as it grows into an enduring living memorial.

Some families prefer to plant the tree on private property, whether at the family’s home or a place of personal meaning. Seeds of Life will select the correct tree for the recipient’s growing region so that it will grow in honor of the life that was lost.

A memorial tree can be a meaningful way to remember and honor a loved one. It is a way of connecting to nature’s beauty and timelessness, experiencing the joy of watching a living thing grow, and remembering your beloved friend or relative.

If you have questions about cremation or planting a memorial tree, the cremation experts at Keohane can help. Please call us at 1-800-KEOHANE to find out which of the many options available are right for your family.


Patricia poowell

03/09/2022 at 4:32 pm

I plan on planting a tree in memory of my husband it will be on private property in roop ille ga can I pick the kind of tree I want


05/06/2021 at 3:04 pm

Hi Edith, We would recommend that you call the cemetery where your husband is buried. Every cemetery has different regulations regarding planting and they will be able to offer you guidance. Thank you, Dennis Keohane

Edith Fuentes

05/06/2021 at 2:29 pm

I have a question I would like to have a tree planted in my husband cemetery where he was buried is that possible??

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