Posted on February 12 2018
Planting a tree in memory of someone special is a poignant (and increasingly popular) way to express our sorrow and allow a memory to live on. When a loved one passes, it can be a tough task to figure out the best way to honour their precious time with us. Planting a tree in tribute then scattering the cremated remains around it can often bring a sense of rejuvenation and hope. As the tree grows, its roots are nourished by the earth and ashes combined and this can bring great comfort. Planting a commemorative tree is a unique and touching tribute to a loved-one-lost which will last for many lifetimes and serve as a living legacy. If you are thinking about honouring a loved one by planting a tree in their name here are some helpful tips.
Where to plant a memorial tree?
There are many different options when it comes to considering a location to plant your memorial tree, but there are a few things to think about before doing so.
If you wish to plant a tree in a special spot away from your home (for example, in a crematorium or other place of rest) then always ask the holder of the property in order to be respectful of the shared space.
It’s a popular choice to donate your memorial tree to an institution loved by the departed – for example, a school, park or other sentimental spot. When choosing the perfect space, it’s important to be sure to choose a location where the addition of your beautiful tree will be a blessing (rather than a bother) to locals in the area.
No matter where you choose to plant your tree, be sure to plant it in an area away from interfering landscape features – such as power lines, underground pipes and paved areas which can hinder the growth of roots or branches when fully grown.
Many people plant their memorial tree in a large, outdoor pot. This means it can always remain close by, even when moving house - the memorial tree can easily be transported too, without hindering its growth.
What are the best memorial trees?
A memorial tree is a living celebration of our dearest. All the tree gifts stocked at The Present Tree are nurtured in their beautiful gardens to be happy and healthy. When choosing your living tribute tree it should not only be special, but unique to the person you are commemorating. It could reflect the relationship you share or a memory of a certain time or place special to you; it can be a lovely idea to take into consideration the flowering period of the tree and match this with a special date that you and your loved-one shared. If you’d like to learn more about specific Memorial tree ideas – then take a look at our list of favourites below.
The Holly tree, Silver Birch and Hazel tree are all popular choices when celebrating the life of a lost friend of family member. In Celtic mythology the Holly tree symbolises peace and goodwill, and the gorgeous Hazel tree embodies wisdom, faith and inspiration. The Silver Birch is highly sacred and symbolises new beginnings, renewal and protection. Its striking silver bark could be a meaningful addition to any garden or open space filled with trees which have contrasting bark colours.
To celebrate the life of a beloved taken away too soon, you may want to choose a tree such as the Rowan or Hawthorn – both are filled with beautiful, playful blossom each spring and delicate, ruby red berries in autumn. In Celtic mythology, the Rowan is known as the ‘Tree of Life’ and symbolises wisdom and protection. It’s also a sacred tree which protects the dwelling by which is grows. The Hawthorn is a magical tree that represents love and protection. It is so sacred that fairies are said to live beneath it to keep it safe for years to come!
To commemorate the life of a pet, you may wish to plant a living memorial in their favourite spot in the garden. Consider a handsome evergreen such as the Bay tree which symbolises courage and strength. The Bay is covered in dense foliage, creating perfect perches for small birds all year round.
When searching for a memorial tree to plant in remembrance of a lost partner, you may wish to opt for a tree steeped in history and heritage to reflect your special time together. The Oak tree is a time-honoured symbol of truth, courage and wisdom, it will grow to be one of the oldest trees on earth! The Olive tree is also long-lived and many reach 500 years old. It is an ancient symbol of peace and friendship and can be found in many myths and legends.
No matter where you plant your memorial tree, your message of love and respect is sure to be felt by all who see it. If you wish, you can personalise your tree with a message of condolence or memory on an engraved brass plaque to remind others of what this tree represents to you.
Scattering cremated ashes around a tree.
Many people find the idea of nourishing a new life from their loved-one's cremated remains brings much comfort and solace. However, there are some practical tips to consider first as all cremated remains have naturally high levels of pH and salt. This can interfere with the natural balance of nutrients in the soil and be detrimental to all plant life.
To ensure your memorial tree flourishes, neutralise the high salt and alkaline levels by blending the remains with an ericaceous (acidic) compost which can be purchased at any homeware store or garden centre. It is important to dilute the salt and pH levels generously. Also consider scattering a smaller amount of cremated remains over a larger area so the concentrated levels are diluted further.
If you would like to look into sending a memorial tree gift to pay tribute to a lost loved one or to bring comfort to a friend or family member you can browse our Memorial tree collection here.