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Mailbag: Questions About Planting Memorial Trees

Planting a memorial tree urn

Last Updated on January 30, 2019

From the reader mailbag:

We have questions re: planting memorial trees/ashes. This is the first we’ve heard of this type of program and are very interested. How do we go about doing it? Who do we contact when the death happens? When do we get the urns–now or when the death occurs? Where can the ashes be planted? What permits are needed? Where do I get the permits or permission to plant the ashes? Who does the planting–family member or a member of your organization? What is the cost beyond the cost of the urns? Thank you for your help.

– R. & H.

Planting Memorial Trees

Hi R. & H.,

Thanks for your interest in our Memorial Tree urns! They’re very simple to use – fill the urn with 35 cubic inches of remains, dig a hole, and plant the urn where you want a tree to grow! The top of the urn should be an inch or so below the surface.

Note on sizing: 1 lbs of body weight generally results in 1 cubic inch of remains, so a 150 lbs person would require 150 cubic inches of total space for remains. In this instance of a 150 pound person, you can plantĀ 5 memorial tree urns to use all of the remains, or just one urn and scatter the rest of the remains nearby – it’s up to you.

The best time for planting memorial trees is in the fall, check with a local nursery professional regarding the best times for specific plants in your area.

You can get the urns now, but the seeds are only viable for about a year. If the individual has not passed, I would recommend getting the “Personal Choice” memorial tree urn, which comes without seeds and you can purchase them at the time of planting and insert them into the urn in an easily accessible compartment in the lid of the memorial tree urn. This way, you can get the urns now and add the seeds later, and you won’t have to worry about shipping times or seed viability. You can see this item here.

You don’t need permits to plant the trees, just talk to whoever oversees the land you’ll be using. For public land, contact the city/state/federal organization that maintains the land – they’re usually pretty easy to work with. If it is private property you don’t need permits, just the permission of the property owner.

We don’t do any planting, that is up to you and the family to arrange as you think best. There is no additional cost, other than the time it takes to arrange the planting. By the way, planting a tree urn is a nice time to have a little family & friends memorial tribute, so people will often bring flower petals to scatter, read some favorite Scripture verses, quotes, or song lyrics, release doves, have a time of meditation and reflection, etc. Here are some ideas for creating a unique memorial experience.

When the death occurs, contact either the funeral home or the crematorium to arrange the cremation, and go through this handy checklist.

I hope this helps!!

Thank you,

Daniel Szczesniak
Urns Northwest

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