10 Most Common Questions Received About The Living Urn®

The patented Living Urn® is America's first and leading bio urn and planting system. It is designed to grow a beautiful, enduring memory tree, plant, or flowers from the special urn containing a loved one’s cremated ashes. It is the only tree urn in the world designed to be used with a living tree, and not a seed or tiny sapling. There have been tens of thousands of plantings worldwide with The Living Urn® and many excellent reviews. 

Given how this is a new option for many families, we thought it would be helpful to provide answers to some of the most commonly asked questions we receive from customers and families interested in our bio urn. We have listed some of these questions and answers below. Of course, if you have any additional questions or would like to discuss further, please feel free to reach out to our Denver-based customer service team at (800) 495-7022 ext. 0.

Common Questions About The Living Urn's Bio Urn and Planting System

bio urn questions

  1. Where Can I Purchase The Living Urn®?

The Living Urn® bio urn and planting system is offered by funeral homes throughout the United States and is distributed worldwide! It can also be purchased online.

  1. How Does The Living Urn® Work?

The team at Biolife, LLC spent years working with expert soil scientists and arborists to create the most advanced Bio Urn and Planting System available on the market.

The Living Urn® is simple and easy to use - first, simply place your loved one's cremated ashes in the special bio urn (or have the funeral home or crematory help you with this step if preferred). Next, place the planting urn back in the attractive bamboo case for safe keeping until you are ready to plant. You can store the planting urn holding the cremated ashes for as long as you like before planting. The Living Urn’s biodegradable planting urn is strong and rigid above ground and will not biodegrade unless it is placed in the ground and exposed to soil and moisture. When you are ready to plant, simply remove the planting urn from the bamboo case and transfer in the RootProtect® soil additive on top of the ashes. Lastly, follow the clear instructions provided in our planting instructions book to plant the tree in combination with The Living Urn®. The result - a beautiful living memory tree will grow to honor your loved one, give back, and keep their memory present in your life.

  1. How Much of the Ashes Should I Use?

The Living Urn® is designed to be used with a full set of a person’s ashes or as little as the family would like to include. Many families will choose to include a small portion of the cremated ashes with The Living Urn®, which is perfectly fine. The instructions provided with The Living Urn® describe any adjustments that need to be made when planting different amounts of ashes. This is common when families split the ashes among siblings and plant multiple memory trees or when families want to do other memorials for their loved one with the remaining ashes – this can include scattering ashes, burying ashes, doing a water burial, using some to make a diamond, or including a portion of the ashes in a glass decorative piece, among other options. In addition, some families simply want to keep a portion of the ashes inside in a traditional urn.

  1. If I Order The Living Urn® Now, When the Bio Urn Arrive? And, When Will My Tree Arrive?

For any online orders received prior to 2pm MT on a weekday, we will ship The Living Urn® System that same day (unless it’s a holiday). We’re based in Denver and ground shipping generally takes anywhere from 1 to 4 business days, depending on your location. Of course, we offer express overnight and 2-day shipping options, if needed.

As for your tree, you can request to have it shipped on any Monday throughout the year. We ship trees every Monday because, since they are living trees, we want them to arrive direct to you and not be held up in a shipping warehouse or truck over the weekend. When checking out on our website, you can select a ship date. If you are not sure when you would like your tree sent, you can also let us know, at checkout, to simply hold off on sending the tree until you are ready for it.   

If you do not specify a ship date, we will ship your tree using priority mail on the following Monday, as long as the order was placed by Wednesday. For orders placed on Thursday through Sunday, your tree will ship the following Monday.

Of course, if you have any special needs, just give us a call or send us an email and we will do everything we can to help.

  1. I Want the Tree Shipped Later - Is This Possible?

Definitely! The Living Urn® System is shipped the same business day that you order (if ordered before 2pm MT). The tree is shipped separately and directly from our nursery so it arrives fresh and ready to plant. It is best to plant your tree as soon as you can after it arrives, so just let us know when you plan to do the planting and we’ll time the shipping of the tree accordingly – it’s that simple!

Our website gives you the flexibility to pick a date to have your tree shipped (in the 'notes' section at checkout) and provide us with a different 'ship to' address. If the planting date is not yet known, you can request a voucher for the tree and we will provide a unique code that you can use to redeem the tree and have it shipped when you are ready to plant. We also offer The Living Urn Planting System with a Voucher for a Tree of Choice to make this easy. Our Denver-based customer service team is also available by phone six days a week at (800) 495-7022, ext. 0 to take any special requests and answer any questions you may have. 

  1. Where Can I Plant My Living Urn®?

Tens of thousands of families have planted The Living Urn® throughout the world. We believe many families will plant The Living Urn® on their own property. We always recommend checking to see if there are any local city or county rules and regulations first as every area is different. We have also heard about many families who have planted their loved one’s tree memorial at a favorite place or at a local cemetery (this seems to be happening more frequently and many cemeteries are allowing this). In addition, we’ve heard from a lot of families who have planted on Church properties, while many others have asked and received permission to plant at city, state and even national parks. 

For families who love the idea of a living memorial, but do not have a place to plant, we’ve created a few additional options. One is to order The Living Urn system only and pick up a rose bush, other type of bush or plant, or small tree at your local nursery and plant it in a large pot. Another option is to order The Living Urn Indoors/Patio and plant a bonsai tree or houseplant in this special urn holding cremated ashes indoors or on a patio. A third option is to plant at a Memory Forest, which is an association of leading cemeteries, memorial parks, and green burial preserves that have carved out space for families to plant Living Urns. There are currently over thirty locations throughout the U.S. and plant to expand this number significantly over the next year!

  1. What Trees Are Offered in My Area?

The Living Urn® is the only biodegradable urn available that is designed to be used with living trees. We provide over 50 tree options, which are narrowed down by your zip code to provide only the choices best suited for your specific area. To see all of the tree options we offer your area, simply click here and enter your zip code in the space provided. 

  1. What Size Tree Will I Receive?

We ship young trees directly to your doorstep from our award-winning nursery. The premium trees we provide range in size from approximately 1.5 to 4 feet in height (depending on the type of tree and the season). They are shipped in a pot with strong, robust and intact root system.  

  1. Why Do You Ship Actual Trees & Not Seeds or Tiny Saplings?

The Living Urn® is the only biodegradable urn specifically designed to be used with actual living trees and not seeds or tiny saplings. There are important reasons for this. It can be a challenge to grow a healthy tree from a seed or tiny sapling. With seeds, germination can take a long time, failure rates can be high and sometimes special steps are needed to be taken to even induce germination (including seasonal considerations) which limits the tree types that can be offered. Tiny Saplings have tiny root systems and sometimes they are kept in a bare root form in a refrigerator for a season before they are shipped out. With less root mass, failure rates can be high. Simply put, there are good reasons why nurseries sell young trees and not seeds or tiny saplings!

Our unique bio urn is designed with the necessary depth for roots of the tree. The special materials used in its production makes the urn rigid above ground, but once planted it softens immediately and allows for the roots to grow freely and unimpeded. The soft, permeable and quick to biodegrade material is very important for short-term and long-term tree health. Furthermore, our additives and thorough step-by-step instructions make it as easy as possible for families to have a successful experience growing a beautiful tree memorial that truly honors a loved one.

  1. Can I Purchase a Tree at a Local Nursery to Plant with The Living Urn®? 

Yes, and this is quite common! Many families will order The Living Urn® System Only and then simply visit their local nursery to pick up a tree or shrub and follow the instructions we provide to plant with The Living Urn®. You can plant any size tree with The Living Urn® and we provide clear and easy-to-follow instructions that explain how to plant The Living Urn® in combination with any tree you purchase.

A Few More Common Questions and Answers

How Does The Living Urn Indoors / Patio Work?

The Living Urn® Indoors / Patio is different in appearance and functionality compared with the regular The Living Urn®. This unique indoor planter urn includes a special separated chamber inside the urn to hold and securely contain the ashes. It also has a center chamber that is used to hold a bonsai tree or houseplant and growing medium. Instructions are provided that explain how to include a small amount of ashes in the growing medium.

Choose the color of your indoor urn (it comes in white, blue or beige) and select the bonsai tree or houseplant that you wish to plant in the urn. Next, follow the simple step-by-step instructions to place the ashes in the urn and plant. The bonsai trees and houseplants we offer make for a beautiful memorial and are easy to care for.

Is there a Pre-Need Option Available?

Yes! Based on demand from our customers, we developed a Pre-Planning Program for people who want to take care of plans ahead of their passing. This can make it easy on a family as everything is already decided upon and paid for ahead of time.

With this program we send The Living Urn® system upon ordering with a voucher for a tree of choice. The Living Urn® has no expiration and it can be stored for a very long time. The voucher can be redeemed whenever the time comes to plant.

Is there a Pet Option?

Yes! We initially started The Living Urn® focusing on providing the best possible bio urn product for people and families. It was so well received that we developed a special bio urn for pets product. We are pet owners understand that our pets our truly members of the family too. The Living Urn®'s bio urn for pets is an option for families where you can grow a beautiful and enduring living memorial of your beloved four-legged member of the family!