How to Plan a Memorial Tree Ceremony
If you are looking for a natural way to celebrate your loved one, consider a memorial tree ceremony. If your loved one was an avid gardener or enjoyed hiking in the woods, this type of ceremony may remind you of their outdoorsy spirit. And a memorial tree is a wonderful way to express a love that has not ended with your loved one's passing.
There are a few things to consider before this type of memorial. You may want to consider:
- Where the service will take place (at your home, at a favorite nature trail or memorial park)?
- What type of elements do you want to include (flower petals, photos or other memorabilia)
- What type of tree would you like to use and will it be easy to maintain?
In the attempt to find the perfect place to memorialize your loved one, think about how accessible it might be now and in the future. While the rules may vary from place to place, there may be restrictions on public property. Is it on your personal property? Maybe it is on a favorite nature walk? Or maybe you live near a memorial park where you can purchase a memorial tree?
You already know you will be remembering your loved one by planting a tree sapling. You may or may not be including his or her ashes. Or perhaps there is other memorabilia you want to include or bring? You may want to bury these items with the tree or display them on a table during the service. It may bring you comfort to include things like a favorite poem or personal letter. Maybe you have a small trinket like seashells or flower petals that you'd like to use. Some people choose to place a cremation urn on a table before burying it under the sapling. Stardust Memorials has eco-friendly cremation urns suitable for ground burial that will biodegrade over time. We also have useful products to assist in a scattering ceremony.
Pictured above are the Embrace series Biodegradable urns -- from left to right:
Consider the plant
Most people choose to plant a special tree in memory of a loved one, but some people like to plant flowers or a flowering shrub like lilacs. Whatever location you decide is right for your ceremony, place careful consideration on the type of sapling or plant you choose. If you are planting the tree yourself, be sure to follow directions for the planting and care of new trees that are appropriate for your zone and climate, sunny or shady location as well as including watering and soil preparation. Contact the Arbor Day Foundation for assistance in selecting the right sapling for your ceremony. Again, you may or may not want to include ashes or an urn as part of this process.