A living memorial
Memorial trees are also referred to as living memorials. As personalized and pre-planned funerals have become more popular, there are an increasing number of non-traditional memorials available that will honor the deceased and their family in a personal way.
Planting a tree is a wonderful and original way to memorialize those who have passed on. Most trees have a much longer lifespan than humans, so planting a tree is a unique way of preserving the memory of a loved one for a long time to come.
Memorial trees symbolize life and growth, which some view as more positive than traditional memorials of stone or other non-living material. They're also environmentally friendly - trees provide oxygen as well as food and habitat for wild animals. It can be an enriching experience for the bereaved to contribute to the continued life of the planet in memory of a loved one.
Planting Memorial Trees
The planting of memorial trees is sometimes done by groups, such as the Boy Scouts or 4-H clubs; it may also be done by professional tree planters. Memorial trees originally started out on private land, but today they may be planted in a forest on protected public land or in a park. The tree will always be protected from cutting, in order to serve its intended purpose. Trees may be marked by plaques, photos or sometimes benches with inscriptions recognizing the deceased.
In other cases, trees may be planted in an area where there are no trees, including the desert areas of the holy land. This can have even greater symbolic value - your loved one's memory lives on as life in a previously barren area.
Memorial tree services allow you to choose where you want the tree planted. You can pick public lands in any of the 50 states or ten provinces. Of course, you'll need to match the tree with local growing conditions. For example, a pine tree will grow better in a forest than in the desert. The exact location will have to be determined by the planter. The planting of a memorial tree is generally acknowledged with a certificate of planting and a photo of the tree, provided to the people who initiated the memorial. These are great mementoes that can be reproduced and passed on to other family members and friends.
Of course, if you're able to, you can purchase and plant your own memorial tree in memory of your loved one. This will allow give you a beautiful place to go to pay tribute to your loved one.