Do cremated ashes expire for planting as a tree?

How long after death can ashes be used to grow a tree?

Last Updated on March 20, 2020

From our Reader Mailbag, a question about our Memorial Tree Urns. These are cremation urns that hold a small amount of cremated remains (a.k.a. “ashes). The urn is then “planted” in the ground, and a tree grows from the included seeds, incorporating the remains into the tree.

The proprietary composition of the urn helps the ashes actually aid in the growth of the tree. This keen reader had a question about the use of the cremated remains themselves, and whether or not they expire.

She wrote,

How long after a loved one’s passing can their ashes be used to grow a tree? Once the ashes are placed into the urn, how soon does it need to be planted?


How long after death can ashes be used to grow a tree?

Hi Melanie,

That is an excellent question! You can use the remains anytime to grow the tree. “Ashes” never expire. Having been through the cremation process, their composition is stable.

The memorial tree urns don’t expire either, but if you order one that comes with a seed then the seeds generally last for a season or so.

All of the memorial tree urns other than the “Personal Choice Memorial Tree Urn” come with seeds. We offer Dogwood, Eastern Red Bud, Japanese Maple, and many more. The Personal Choice is for those who are either waiting a long time, after our seeds would expire, or for you to use a seed or sapling more suitable for the local environment.

So essentially the only thing that would “expire” in the whole process is the tree seed. And you can always purchase your own seeds, so that doesn’t need to hold you back.

You can purchase many tree seeds locally or online for just a few dollars. Additionally, local seeds have the advantage of being already suited to your environment.

You can read more about our memorial tree urns here.

I hope this helps!!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *