Death is something most people don’t like to talk about, however it’s one thing that is inevitable for every person. So, many people aren’t aware that in 2015, and for the first time ever in the United States, cremation became chosen by more Americans than burial. And, within the next 20 years the National Funeral Director’s Association expects that nearly 80% of Americans will choose cremation (up from just 25% twenty years ago).
The main driver of this shift is cost – with full service burials costing an average of $15,000 to $20,000, families are pursuing cremation as an affordable, environmentally friendly alternative. Many families who have their loved ones cremated are also becoming less content with simply placing their ashes in a simple urn on the mantle, but instead, are looking for uplifting memorials to truly honor their loved ones. This includes a tree burial, which is quickly becoming one of the most popular memorials for families throughout the U.S.
Why a Tree Burial?
Trees have been present since the beginning of mankind and have unique symbolism across many cultures and generations. Below are 10 great reasons why people choose tree burials:
- Trees are symbolic – different trees symbolize different things and similar to people, trees have their own unique personalities. Oaks are symbols of strength, maples are resilient, dogwoods symbolize a rebirth, flowering cherrys symbolize beauty, and so on;
- Tree memorials are affordable – while burials can cost tens of thousands of dollars, tree memorials are affordable and cater to families of almost every economic status. The money saved can be used for a child or grandchild’s education, donated to charity, etc.;
- Trees are beautiful – they can beautify any landscape and display brilliant colors of red, pink, purple, yellow, green, orange, etc. throughout the year!
- Trees provide a place to visit – instead of family and friends visiting a headstone or staring at an urn, a tree provides a place where they can spend time and remember – read a book under the tree, take a nap, have a picnic, or just sit under its beauty and reflect;
- Trees clean the air and provide oxygen – why take up space in a cemetery when you can have a tree memorial that takes in CO2 and gives off oxygen to support life. Two mature trees provide enough oxygen to support a family of four. With dramatic reductions in our rainforest, trees are needed now more than ever to help support mankind – your loved one’s tree memorial will contribute!
- Trees provide shade and block the sun’s harmful rays – Trees can help reduce UV-B exposure by up to 50%! Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancers throughout the world and trees are there to lend a helping branch for people with their shade.
- Trees are a natural air conditioner – Trees are a great place for people to take a rest from the hot summer sun and cool off. A home can experience up to 50% reduction of air conditioning usage with 3 to 4 trees strategically placed around a house. Less A/C means less energy, resulting in a reduction in carbon and other emissions from power plants;
- Trees heal – Numerous studies have shown that patients in hospitals and rehabilitation centers who can see trees and nature from their window have a faster healing rate with less complications. Also, children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), have shown less symptoms when they are regularly in nature. Exposure to trees and nature has proven to aid concentration and lessen mental fatigue;
- Trees support wildlife – trees provide food and shelter for birds, deer, squirrels, and a lot of other wildlife; and
- Trees are living memorials that represent life – they grow, bloom, thrive. No other memorial does this!
We asked Mark Brewer, President of The Living Urn, about why families choose tree burials, “Trees are an important part of our lives. They have stood the test of time and serve as great living memorials of loved ones. We’ve had thousands of families who have chosen to grow a tree memorial of a loved one with The Living Urn. As more and more people are becoming aware of this uplifting option, we’re experiencing a surge in demand.”
Brewer continues, “The Living Urn is the only bio urn and planting system on the market that comes with everything needed to grow a tree memorial and that’s designed to be used with young trees, and not seeds. It can be a challenge to grow a tree from a seed, which is why we developed our patent pending system to be used with living trees. In addition, our special bio urn and planting system comes packaged in an attractive bamboo container – which is great for ceremonies. People really connect with tree burials and we’re excited to be a leading driver of this movement.”