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Gift Trees: Plant a Tree in Someone's Name

Updated on August 1, 2014

Plant a Gift Tree in Someone's Name

When I was a little girl, my mom planted a pine tree in our side yard. Today that tree towers well over 100 feet, and I love to drive by the old house just to see it. Planting gift trees in someone's name is a great way to commemorate an important event, whether it be a celebration, a memorial or a holiday like Christmas. You can plant it yourself or support an organization that is helping the planet through tree planting. You'll be giving a gift that keeps on giving. Learn more below.

(Photo by Lisa Howard)

There are a variety of sites where you can buy a tree as a gift and send a certificate commemorating the event to your gift recipient. Which one you choose depends on variables such as where you'd like the tree(s) to be planted and how much money you'd like to spend.

Plant a Tree in the U.S.

Tree Givers

Tree Givers has been planting trees since 1981. They offer a wide selection of certificates for all occasions to the sent to the gift recipient, even including pet memorial certificates. Prices start at $39.95 for gift packages. Trees will be planted on public lands in your choice of U.S. state or Canadian province.

National Arbor Day Foundation

The National Arbor Day Foundation is the world's oldest and largest tree-planting organization. It was started in 1971 and works to promote tree planting and care around the country. You can personalize a certificate for any celebration or memorial. Tree gifts are available for $1 per tree, with a $10 minimum. Trees will be planted in U.S. national forests that have been destroyed by fire.

Plant a Tree Abroad

Trees for Life International

TFL is a small nonprofit organization based in Wichita, KS that started out with the mission to help end world hunger by planting fruit and fuel trees around the world. The organization has now expanded to also include educational initiatives, such as their Books for Life program. You can purchase a gift of 10 or more trees for $1 each. (If you don't see the amount you want, you can change it in the checkout process.) Trees will be planted in developing countries where TFL works.

Heifer International

Heifer International is a nonprofit organization that helps poor families around the world become self-reliant through gifts of livestock, training and also gifts of trees. As with all their donation gifts, Heifer offers you the option to purchase a "whole" gift or a "share" of a gift. In other words, if you can't afford to donate the entire $60 to plant trees, you can purchase a share of seedlings for only $10. Trees will be planted in countries where Heifer works.

(Image provided by Zazzle)

Grow a Tree Kit - You can also plant a tree together!

Another way to honor someone with a tree is to plant one together. You can buy kits online with a variety of different tree types. Each one comes with a "mini-greenhouse" where you can start your tree. Once it's big enough, you can then transplant it outside and enjoy planting it together.

Tree Growing Kit - Giant Sequoia - by Jonsteen Company
Tree Growing Kit - Giant Sequoia - by Jonsteen Company

Description: Contribute to the clean air and have fun growing a tree with our Mini Tree Growing Kit!


'A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.'- Greek Proverb

Planting a tree in memory of someone is a wonderful way to commemorate that person's life. Not only is it a living reminder of that individual, but it benefits the entire community and world. The following list, which comes from information provided at TreeLink by Glenn Roloff at the USDA Forest Service, gives just a few of the benefits we receive from trees.

1. One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen.

2. Research indicates that trees help reduce stress in the workplace and speed recovery of hospital patients.

3. Trees give people recreational opportunities and provide habitat for wildlife.

4. Trees may help us heal. One of every four pharmaceutical products used in the US comes from a plant found in a tropical forest.

5. Shade from trees cools hot streets and parking lots. Cities are "heat islands" that are 5-9 degrees hotter than surrounding areas.

6. Trees help recharge ground water and sustain streamflow.

7. Trees prevent or reduce soil erosion and water pollution.

8. Depending on their location, trees can reduce utility bills for air conditioning in residential homes and commercial buildings by 15-50 percent.

"People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world which cannot sustain people. "

Bryce Nelson

"God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods. But he cannot save them from fools. "

John Muir

"To me, nature is sacred; trees are my temples and forests are my cathedrals."

Mikhail Gorbachev

"The great French Marshall Lyautey once asked his gardener to plant a tree. The gardener objected that the tree was slow growing and would not reach maturity for 100 years. The Marshall replied, 'In that case, there is no time to lose; plant it this afternoon!'"

John F. Kennedy

"He who plants a tree loves others beside himself."

English proverb

"The best friend on Earth of man is the tree. When we use the tree respectfully and economically,

we have one of the greatest resources of the Earth."

Frank Lloyd Wright

For Young Tree Huggers - A great book about saving the trees

The People Who Hugged the Trees
The People Who Hugged the Trees

I love this book, which retells a classic Indian folktale about Amrita, who loved the trees because she knew they provided shade from the desert sun and storms and helped people find sources of water. So when wood cutters came to chop the trees down, the villagers hugged the trees so they couldn't be cut down. This is a great story that teaches children about the benefits of trees and protecting our environment, and the illustrations are wonderful. Definitely a good book for any budding environmentalist!


How to Plant a Tree - Instructional video tells you everything you need to know

If you decide to plant a memorial tree on your own, you might need some tips on how to do it right. This video will help you out and make sure your tree is planted properly so it can continue to grow and provide a lasting tribute for years to come.

More Advice on How to Plant a Tree

If you've never planted a tree, be sure to follow the planting instructions that come with it. If specific instructions are not available, follow these tips:

1. Dig a hole about twice the size of the tree's root ball, or about one foot wider than the root system. The hole should be slightly shallower than the root ball. If the soil is especially heavy or wet, consider planting the tree slightly higher.

2. Remove all materials from the root mass. This includes wires, string, burlap, and biodegradable containers. Neglecting this will hinder proper root growth.

3. Gently place the tree in the center of the hole and position it to grow straight. If the tree has a prettier side, place it in the direction most frequently viewed. If planting a bare root tree, carefully spread the roots.

4. Crumble the soil removed from the hole and cover the roots with it. As you add soil to fill in around the tree, lightly tamp the soil to collapse air pockets, or add water to help settle the soil. Air pockets around the roots can be devastating to a newly planted tree.

5. Add about four inches of mulch--wood chips, shredded bark, or grass clippings--around the base of the tree, extending out to the tips of the outermost branches. A 3-foot diameter circle of mulch is common. Mulching will retain moisture, reduce weeds, maintain a more even soil temperature, and eliminate mowing next to the delicate bark. Be sure to pull the mulch away from the tree trunk because decomposing mulch can cause rot problems.

6. Finally, give the tree a thorough watering. If the root ball is extremely dry, allow water to trickle into the soil by placing the hose at the trunk of the tree.

Young trees need protection against rodents, frost cracks, sunscald, lawnmowers, and weed whackers. Plastic guards are an inexpensive and easy control method. Light colored tree wraps can be used to protect the trunk from sunscald. Usually, staking trees is not necessary unless you live in an area with high winds.

A properly planted and maintained tree will grow much faster and live much longer than one that is incorrectly planted. Trees can be planted almost anytime of the year as long as the soil is not frozen. However, early fall is the optimum time to plant trees. For the first year or two, especially after a week or so of extremely hot or dry weather, watch your tree closely for signs of moisture stress. If you see leaf wilting or hard, caked soil, water the tree well and slowly enough so the water soaks in rather than runs off.

Take the time to give your tree a good start on life. You and the next generation will enjoy the benefits of your backyard tree for years to come.

Source: USDA National Resources Conservation Service

Learn More About Trees - Books to read

Want to learn more? Check out these books from amazon.

If you are thinking a year ahead, sow a seed.

If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.

How to Save Trees for Free

It just takes a click of your mouse

If you're a tree hugger, be sure to check out these sites where you can make free donations to protect forests. Each click at these sites will generate a donation to pay for forest protection, and it won't cost you a dime! All donations are paid for by advertisers.

The Rainforest

Race for the Rainforest

I Speak for the Trees

"I am The Lorax.

I speak for the trees."

Find more Lorax quotes

Have You Ever Planted a Tree? - Let us know!

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    • paulahite profile image

      Paula Hite 3 years ago from Virginia

      Love this! I shared it on our Facebook page today!

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Yes, I've planted many trees in my lifetime :-)

    • GeorgeneMBramlage profile image

      Georgene Moizuk Bramlage 4 years ago from southwestern Virginia

      Thank you for a very well constructed and thought-out lens. I planted a tree in honor of the birth of each of my grandchildren thinking I would never leave that garden. The trees still grow in my memory, however, new people enjoy their leaves and life cycles. Kudos to you!

    • ian-patrick-716 profile image

      ian-patrick-716 4 years ago

      What a great idea

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 5 years ago

      Wonderful lens and if only people would plant more trees instead of knoking them down the world would be better off, When I moved into my home nearly 30 years ago I planted several trees in the front and now they are more than 50 feet high. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Why are There Trees. Hugs

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 5 years ago from UK

      A great read, enjoyed your thoughts on planting a tree as a gift especially. Blessed

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 5 years ago

      Yes, I have! Nice lens! Thanks! :)

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 5 years ago

      Yes, I have! Nice lens! Thanks! :)

    • MaryThereseBenn profile image

      MaryThereseBenn 5 years ago

      Yes, my husband and I planted two Christmas trees at the first house we ever owned. At the house we live now, there were two beautiful crab apple trees, but a windstorm destroyed the fuller one. My husband planted a dwarf "cocktail" tree in it's place. It's a young tree, and not all that impressive right now, but there is always the future to think of.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My first husband and I planted a tree at each house we purchased. I do love to drive by the ones that I can to see how they are doing. Our first Christmas in our first home we bought a balled tree and then planted it after Christmas. It is HUGE now. Great idea to do a gift tree.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      yes! About 300 misopsis eminii species here in Uganda

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @SteveKaye: I am planting trees here in Uganda, but lack support! Degradation of environment is becoming a threat here. I have dedicated my time to plant trees. So far, I have planted about 300 missis eminii species. please help and donate!

    • infiniti99 lm profile image

      infiniti99 lm 5 years ago

      I'm a landscaper /Arborist and I make it a point to plant more trees than I cut down.Great lens thank you for sharing

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Several coconut trees in the backyard and one large palm tree in the front.

    • indigomoth profile image

      indigomoth 5 years ago from New Zealand

      This is a lovely lens. I've always wanted to plant an orchard for myself, but I'm still waiting for the perfect space.

    • theholidayplace profile image

      theholidayplace 5 years ago

      Yes, and is a great idea to plan one for somebody else

    • profile image

      SteveKaye 5 years ago

      Yes, and I've donated funds to have trees planted. Now, thanks to this lens, I'm going to find more ways to plant trees.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      This is a lovely idea - a friend planted a tree for my daughter a number of years ago - we don't know where the tree is except that it is in a nearby rainforest, so I am sure it is thriving.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      It was a delightful experience when me and my friend joined a local "tree planting" initiative - It was a day-long affair and am waiting for the next drive to happen soon... We need to plant the seeds today for a better tomorrow... :)

    • profile image

      mtpleasanttreeservice 6 years ago

      We have policy to replace every tree we have to remove with a new one.

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 6 years ago

      Planting a tree for someone is a wonderful gift in so many ways. I like that you explained why. Blessed by a Squid Angel.

    • hsschulte profile image

      hsschulte 6 years ago

      I love trees. Thanks for the ideas. Blessed by the green living angel.

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 6 years ago

      People say they don't know what to give the person who has everything. Well... maybe something the earth needs, done in their name. SquidAngel blessings.

    • choosehappy profile image

      Vikki 7 years ago from US

      *blessed* by a squid angel;)

    • profile image

      ezpostcard 7 years ago

      We do tree planting every year, it's part of our advocacy and environmental responsibility.

    • profile image

      scar4 7 years ago

      Regret to say "no", I want to plant a name tree to remember my dad.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Awesome lens! I have planted a tree with my sister when my Grandpa passed away,years ago,but to this day, I cry when I see a tree being cut down! Blessed by a Squidoo Angel on 12/16/2010.Have a great holiday!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      This is a wonderful idea for a memorial gift, someone did that and let us know about it when my Dad passed on. I think it's a lovely tribute.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I've definitely planted lots of trees! Congratulations for being showcased on the Best of Cyber Monday on Squidoo lens by SquidTeam - Kathy

    • blujeanmomma profile image

      blujeanmomma 7 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      In grade school we always planted a few tress on Arbor day & ever since then we have continued to give trees planted in our friends names as gifts (in addition to whales, dolphins and rain forest). It's not only a unique gift idea (and one size does ft all) but also good for all of us living in the world. Congratulations on being includes in the Best of Cyber Monday on Squidoo lens.

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      I have featured this lens on Giving Charity for Christmas Gift Guide

      Thanks for the help!

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 7 years ago

      Yes, I have! a few.

      I am going to feature this lens on my upcoming lens which encourages people to give presents that say "a contribution has been given in your name" for Christmas!

    • EmmaCooper LM profile image

      EmmaCooper LM 7 years ago

      Cool lens :) Trees are awesome!

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      Wow! A lot of research went into this. Great ideas :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      I have always had plans to pant some trees with the boys.. I will do it this year -- for sure. Thank you...

    • Amelia77 profile image

      Amelia77 7 years ago

      This is an absolutely beautiful gift for someone who has everything! Thanks for the great lens!

    • lasertek lm profile image

      lasertek lm 8 years ago

      Been joining organizations that promote planting trees. It is always a fun experience when you help the environment & see the results years after. Everybody must try tree planting because it is one experience that can never be forgotten. 5*

      Hope you could visit my lenses and be a fan of my fb page. Thanks

    • giacombs-ramirez profile image

      gia combs-ramirez 8 years ago from Montana

      Hi Lisa, There's a great campaign started that you might want to add a link to: (One Chld/One Tree). I'm featuring you on the lens that I'm making about this program.


    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      This is a lovely idea for a green lens - I am the prud owner of an acre of rainforest. SquidAngel Blessings for you.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 8 years ago from Croatia

      This is wonderful green idea Lisa! Blessed by an Angel!

    • MerryChicky profile image

      MerryChicky 9 years ago

      What a great lens! I'm in an apartment right now, and can't plant my own trees. Fortunately, the complex has been here about 30 years and has beautiful oaks all around the place! Thanks for the links under How To Save Trees For Free. :)

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 9 years ago

      What a great idea, this is a perfect "green" memorial which will last forever and gives back to the earth. Five stars!

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      One generally thinks of trees as growing very slowly but after 10 years or so it is amazing how much they have grown. We plant trees for our grandchildren to enjoy.

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 9 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      This topic caught my eye, because, when I was sixteen, I planted a tree in Israel--just outside of Jerusalem--for a grandfather I never knew. I remember my mom (his daughter) was really moved by that when I told her and showed her the certificate when I got home. I wonder now, twenty-three years later, how that little tree is doing halfway round the world.

    • profile image

      seegreen 9 years ago

      In Italy people buy Christmas trees with the root ball still attached and then plant them several months later. We tried it when we lived there but our trees never lasted. I can grow vegetables and herbs without a problem, but I need to work on my tree skills! Great lens 5*

    • legbamel lm profile image

      legbamel lm 9 years ago

      This is a great lens on a fabulous idea. Thanks for writing it!

    • ElizabethJeanAl profile image

      ElizabethJeanAl 9 years ago

      Planting a tree as a memorial or to celibrate a new life is not a new idea, but it is a good one.

      Great lens


    • MBradley McCauley profile image

      MBradley McCauley 9 years ago

      Thanks for this lens. I've been wanting to plant a tree in memory of my son who died two years ago. He was a landscaper and he loved the outdoors. I know he would love to have me plant a tree in his memory.

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Tree planting is a good cause for the environment, even you're doing it at your own backyard, it already gives big benefits. 5*