Remembrance Trees: Choosing Trees For A Memorial Garden

Large Pink Flowering Tree In The Cemetery
(Image credit: LCBallard)

What better possible way to honor the memory of a loved one than planting a tree in their name? Remembrance trees for members of your family, friends or pets both serve as a memorial to that loss and, at the same time, affirm the circle of life. 

Read on for ideas about using trees for a memorial garden or as gifted remembrance trees.

Planting Trees in Memory 

The gesture of planting a tree in memory of a friend or family member provides a long-term, living memorial. It can be a place of solace and peace for you, but also serve your family for generations as children and grandchildren can pay repeated visits to the spot.

Trees add to the beauty of the environment as well as contributing to the air we breathe. In that way, memorial trees are much more life-affirming reminders of love than traditional tombstones or urns.

How to Plant Memorial Trees

There is more than one way to plant one or more trees for a memorial garden. One good way is to do the physical work yourself, picking out an appropriate young tree, finding an appropriate location, then digging the hole and caring for the tree yourself. This is a good way to work through your grief to the happy memories beneath.

But it’s also possible to extend the gesture of remembrance trees by working with organizations that plant trees in a forest where they are badly needed. For example, Trees for a Change is a company that plants trees in places specifically identified by the Forest Service as needing them. You can contribute to this in memory of your friend or family member. 

Memorial Trees for Others

It’s also a nice idea to gift trees for a memorial garden for others. For example, rather than sending a traditional bouquet of flowers, consider sending potted seedlings as remembrance trees. 

Or you can extend the idea to others at a wake or memorial for someone you love by handing out seedlings as token gifts. That gives every person present the opportunity to plant the trees in the way they best see fit.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.