Many families struggle to know what to do with their loved ones’ (or pets’) cremated remains. If your loved one enjoyed the outdoors, consider planting a “cremation tree.” The difference between a memorial tree and a cremation tree is that with the latter, the family buries part or all of the cremated remains while planting the tree. 

Your loved one may have loved the idea of spending eternity in the shade of a tree. However, before you buy a tree and dig a hole, ensure you understand the steps you need to take for your tree to thrive. To help you with the process, we’ll recommend some products to ensure that the tree you plant will have a long life.

Tips for Planting a Memorial Tree with Cremated Remains

There’s a lot to consider when planting a tree with cremation ash. For example, you may want to select a tree with special symbolic significance – in addition to choosing a tree that can thrive in your environment. Additionally, if you plan to plant a tree in a public space such as a park, you must ask for permission. Finally, you need to consider the logistics of planting a tree. (Remember to call before you dig!)

Here are some additional tips for ensuring that the tree you plant thrives.

Use a Biodegradable Urn or Living Urn 

Human ashes are mainly composed of phosphates, calcium, potassium, and sodium. They are considered safe and sterile to handle. However, cremated ashes in a concentrated form – however safe and natural they are – may not be appropriate fertilizer for a tree and may instead hinder plant growth.

So, instead of adding cremation ashes around the tree’s root ball, consider utilizing a product made specifically for cremation tree planting. Several products are on the market, including Bios Urn, Geos Biodegradable Tree Urn, The Olea Urn, and the Living Urn. Each cremation tree urn has pros and cons, but they all help you plant memorial trees that will thrive.

All memorial tree urn products contain beneficial plant nutrients that promise a balanced growing environment. For example, the Living Urn is a biodegradable urn with an ash-neutralizing agent to help your favorite tree thrive. 

Use a Scattering Urn for Additional Ashes

Some families use only a portion of the cremated remains during tree burial and scatter the rest of the cremains during a memorial service. If this is your plan, purchase a scattering urn to spread the other ashes neatly. 

Consider the Care and Maintenance of Your Tree

Even though cremation tree pods make it easy to plant a living memorial for your loved one, a new tree requires care and maintenance – especially if you plant a seedling. This might take some pre-planning if you plant the tree anywhere else but your own yard. 

Do You Have Questions About Cremation? Let Us Help!

You may be intrigued by the idea of eco-friendly tree urns, or you may be more interested in purchasing a traditional urn for burial in a cemetery plot or placement in a columbarium. Contact Alabama Funeral Homes and Cremation Centers to ask questions about cremation and final resting places.

In operation since 1967, our mission has always been to assist families during their greatest time of need with professionalism, integrity, and compassion. We are happy to assist you with any questions about environmentally friendly end-of-life options in Alabama

Key Takeaways About Tree Cremation

  • Cremation ashes aren’t necessarily suitable for young trees or plants. 
  • Purchase an urn planting system when placing ashes around a newly planted tree.
  • For mess-free scattering, purchase a scattering urn.
  • Consider long-term care and maintenance of the tree before you plant one.