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Mailbag: Can I use a memorial tree urn near an existing tree?

Memorial Ideas

Last Updated on October 24, 2016

From the reader mailbag, a question about useing a memorial tree urn near an existing tree.

I am looking to purchase a memorial tree for my partner who just passed away.  It was his wish before he died.  I was looking online and I am wondering about the viability of the trees and the process?  Do they start growing inside and then I plant it outside once it has fully taken root


The company where he volunteered his services would like to plan the tree on their property but I have concerns about what happens if the tree doesn’t take root and grow after we have already put down the plaque for him?  Could we use the urn to plant near or under and existing tree to ensure growth?  I am a little confused on the best path to follow.





Hi Wendy,

Thanks for your interest in our memorial tree urns! The way they work: fill the urn with up to 35 cubic inches of remains (which should be roughly equal to 35 lbs of body weight), put the lid on, and plant. That’s it! As the urn biodegrades, the urn will mix with the remains and nourish the seedling as it grows from the seed, which is in the lid.

Personal Choice Memorial Tree UrnWe advise asking a local expert at a garden center or nursery about when is the best time to plant the particular type of tree. Usually it’s in the fall. Until you plant it (in other words, until the urn comes in contact with moisture), it will not grow or biodegrade, so it’s safe to store the remains in there temporarily. Then, the following spring, you should see a seedling sprouting and growing. If there is an issue with the tree not growing, we’ll send a replacement sapling no problem.

And yes, you can use the urn to plant near or under an existing tree, as long as you don’t overly disturb the existing tree when burying the urn. If the tree is quite young, you would want to be cautious about digging and destroying roots, but most trees would be able to tolerate some disturbance. The urn will biodegrade over time and the ashes will essentially become a soil amendment, contributing calcium and potassium for the tree.

For this purpose of planting a memorial tree urn near an existing tree, I would advise our Personal Choice Memorial Tree Urn, which comes without seeds. Generally, the Personal Choice is used when you have a particular type of tree or other plant that you would like to grow, so it just comes with an empty pocket. Since it doesn’t have any seeds, it would be ideal for planting near an existing tree. As the urn biodegrades and mixes with the remains, it will form a nourishing blend which will help the tree thrive. I hope this answers your questions!

Thank you,

Daniel Szczesniak
Urns Northwest

Mailbag: Cremation Urn Questions

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