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Memorial Tree Planting

Updated on June 15, 2009

A memorial tree is a beautiful and unique way to remember a lost loved one. They make especially good memorials for gardeners, hikers, and others who loved the natural world.

Trees are not only beautiful and long-lived, they also benefit the environment in many ways, from providing homes for birds and other wildlife to cleaning the air and sequestering carbon dioxide.

There are two ways to plant a memorial tree. You can hire a memorial tree planting service to do it for you, or you can plant the tree yourself. Both methods have advantages and disadvantages.

Memorial Tree Planting Services

Memorial tree planting services are the obvious choice for survivors who are unable or unwilling to plant a tree themselves. They also typically plant the tree in a protected natural area where it is unlikely to be inadvertently chopped down by a later homeowner. Memorial tree planting services also usually offer a variety of plaques or markers to place with the tree to record its purpose.

The two main disadvantages of memorial tree planting services are higher cost and reduced choices. Although some services may plant the tree anywhere, others have specific areas where the tree planting occurs. Memorial tree planting services may also offer a limited choice of tree species and size.

Photo by Paulo Brandão
Photo by Paulo Brandão

Do-It-Yourself Memorial Tree Planting

Planting the tree yourself is generally cheaper than hiring a memorial tree planting service to do it. It also offers the greatest flexibility in terms of where the tree is planted and what kind it is. However, it may be harder to ensure the tree is protected for its entire lifespan.

When choosing a tree to plant as a memorial tree, here are a few things to consider:

  • What was your loved one's favorite tree species?
  • What tree species grow well in the area? (Native trees are always a good choice. If you are unsure, an organization such as the Arbor Day Foundation can help.)
  • How long-lived is the tree species? (Some, such as some maples, are relatively short lived; others survive for hundreds, or even thousands, of years.)
  • Does the tree offer any extra benefits to the area? (Some survivors just want a tree; others may choose to plant a tree with beautiful blossoms or fall color, delicious nuts or fruits, or good wildlife appeal.)


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    • profile image

      Fatima - Enviro Tips 

      8 years ago

      Planting a memorial tree for your loved one is a great idea.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I didn't plant a memorial tree for my dad, however I did ask everyone not to send flower, bring a plant - which many of them I still have.


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