Skip to content
Sycamore Tree Spring Meadow

Heat Tolerant Trees to Consider for Your Memorial Tree

Planting a memorial tree is a beautiful way to honor a loved one, contribute to the environment, and create a living legacy. When considering a tree for your living memorial, your region’s climate may require you to choose a species that can thrive under high temperatures. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has established a hardiness zone map to help determine which areas plants and trees flourish. There are thirteen zones in the United States - the higher the number, the hotter the region. The Living Urn offers several excellent heat-tolerant trees from our award-winning nursery for your zone. Here are ten species that can handle the heat and honor your loved one for years to come:

Crape Myrtle in Korean Garden

Bald Cypress

The Bald Cypress (Taxodium distichum) is a deciduous conifer known for its adaptability and majestic stature. Thriving in zones 4 through 9, it can withstand not only heat but also flooding, making it an excellent choice for varied landscapes. What sets the bald cypress apart is its unique, feathery foliage that turns a stunning coppery-bronze in the fall before shedding. Its ability to grow to 70 feet or more allows it to stand as a formidable memorial, symbolizing strength and endurance.


Pines are a diverse and resilient group of trees, with many species highly tolerant of heat and drought conditions. Among them, the loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) and the longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) are notable for their ability to thrive in warm climates, typically found in zones 6 through 9. Pines grow tall and sturdy and are capable of living 100-1000 years, their evergreen foliage symbolizes eternal life, making them a meaningful choice for a memorial tree.


The Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) is known for its rapid growth and impressive size, reaching 100 feet. It’s remarkably heat-tolerant, thriving in zones 4 through 9. Its distinctive, mottled bark and broad, maple-like leaves make it a visually striking choice. The sycamore’s resilience and shade are a soothing reminder of protection and care, offering a comforting spot for reflection and remembrance.

Crape Myrtle

Known as the “lilac of the South,” the Crape Myrtle (Lagerstroemia) is beloved for its vibrant and lengthy blooming period, showcasing flowers in shades of pink, red, purple, and white throughout the summer and into fall. This tree is not only heat-tolerant but also drought-resistant once established. If you live in zones 6 through 10, the crape myrtle can make a lovely living memorial. Its smooth, peeling bark and graceful branches add year-round interest. The crape myrtle's beauty and longevity make it a popular choice for memorial plantings, symbolizing love and persistence.

Leyland Cypress

The Leyland Cypress (x Cuprocyparis leylandii) is a fast-growing evergreen that provides privacy and sound barriers, making it an ideal choice for creating a peaceful, secluded memorial space. Suited for zones 6 through 10, it’s highly adaptable to various soil types and conditions, including heat and drought. Its dense, feathery foliage can reach impressive heights quickly, offering a green sanctuary and a symbol of eternal life.

American Elm

Once a staple in American landscapes, the American Elm (Ulmus americana) is making a comeback, especially through disease-resistant varieties. Best suited for zones 2 through 9, this majestic tree can withstand urban pollution and extreme temperatures. Its vase-like shape and lush canopy provide ample shade, making it a classic and comforting choice for a memorial. The American elm's resilience and grandeur symbolize strength and unity, echoing the enduring spirit of a loved one.

Southern Magnolia

The Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) is celebrated for its large, fragrant white flowers that bloom from spring into summer, set against a backdrop of glossy, evergreen leaves. This tree epitomizes the grace and beauty of the South, thriving in zones 7 through 10. It can reach up to 80 feet in height, offering a stately and aromatic memorial. The southern magnolia represents nobility and perseverance, making it a poignant choice for commemorating the life of your loved one.

American Sweet Gum

The American Sweet Gum (Liquidambar styraciflua) is notable for its star-shaped leaves that turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and purple in the fall. Most at home in zones 5 through 9, this tree is not only heat-tolerant but also adaptable to a variety of soils. Its spiky fruit and beautiful fall color display symbolize change and resilience, making it a reflective choice for a memorial tree.

River Birch

The River Birch (Betula nigra) is valued for its unique, peeling bark and ability to thrive in hot, wet conditions, suitable for zones 4 through 9. Its tolerance to heat and flood-prone areas makes it a resilient choice, symbolizing adaptability and growth through challenging conditions, echoing the qualities of a life well lived.


The Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is a lesser-known but equally deserving candidate for a memorial tree. This heat-tolerant tree can handle zones 5 through 9 just fine. Its white summer flowers, vibrant fall foliage, and attractive bark offer year-round interest. The sourwood's beauty and resilience in the face of heat symbolize endurance and the sweet remembrance of a life's enduring impact.

Explore The Living Urn's Memorial Tree Options

The Living Urn is America’s leading bio urn & planting system. Our award-winning nursery has over seventy glorious tree options to choose from. Based on your zip code, we provide each customer with a tailored menu to help narrow down the most suitable trees for your region. Our trees are two to four feet tall, depending on the tree type and season, and can be shipped directly to your home. With The Living Urn, our innovative planting system is designed to support the strong roots of your tree, nurturing it into a flourishing living memorial. If you’d like to learn more about picking the right tree for your memorial, contact us today!

Previous article How to Become a Tree After You Die
Next article 8 Cold Climate Trees to Consider for Your Memorial Tree