Planting Tips for Your Living Urn Tree Burial (Part 1)

During the Spring and Summer months, many families throughout the U.S. will hold a tree burial planting ceremony and plant a tree urn to create a beautiful tree memorial. This will serve as a living memorial that will honor a loved one and keep their memory present for many years to come.

If this is something you’re considering, we wanted to provide some helpful insight into this process and the best way to go about planting a tree with The Living Urn's patented bio urn. In part two of this guide, which will be released next week, we will provide some additional helpful information on planting and caring for the tree memorial going forward.

Choosing a Tree for a Tree Burial

tree burial

The patented Living Urn System is the only biodegradable urn and planting system specifically designed to be planted with a living tree, not a seed or tiny sapling. When you purchase your Living Urn, you have a choice of receiving a young tree from our award-winning nursery, or you can pick up your own tree from a local nursery and follow the simple instructions we provide to plant in combination with the Living Urn. The trees provided by our nursery are strong, young trees that are approximately 2 to 4 feet in height, depending on the time of year and the season, and are shipped to your doorstep in either a quart or gallon pot. We ship young trees (and not seeds, small saplings or large balled and burlapped trees) for good reason, as there are many important advantages.

Our Young Trees vs. Seeds or Small Seedlings

Seeds and small seedlings (~less than a foot tall) simply have high failure rates compared with the young trees we provide. The trees we send families to plant with their tree urn have grown to a size where they have developed a robust, fibrous, and intact root system. As such, they are ready to be planted in the ground and take off and expand. This makes it much easier for a family to successfully grow a healthy and enduring memory tree with their Living urn containing their loved one's cremation ashes.

Our Young Trees vs. Large 'Balled and Burlapped' Trees

Young trees also have some important advantages compared with larger 'balled and burlapped' trees. First, young trees growing in containers have not yet adapted to a growing environment, so they can be transplanted safely and with less stress at the new, permanent planting site you choose. Also, the roots of a young tree in a container are 100% intact and their young, robust and fibrous root system are ready to expand.

Larger 'balled and burlapped' trees, on the other hand, are dug up from the ground and removed from the environment they have already adapted to. Also, when they are dug up, many of the important young and fibrous feeding roots are left behind in the ground. Adapting to a new growing environment at a later age and re-growing lost roots can be stressful for these trees and this can affect the trees health, performance, and long-term potential.

Simply put, with our 2 to 4 foot young trees, there is less of a tree to feed, so more energy can be invested in growing and building the critical root system. It will also adapt to its new home at a young age, maximizing its potential in terms of growth, health, and longevity.

Therefore, just because 'balled and burlapped' trees are bigger, it does not mean they are better. The reality is that these bigger trees take more care for more years to get properly established. Young trees usually can catch up and surpass the growth of a larger tree within a few years.   

Selecting a Tree Type to Plant with The Living Urn

tree memorial

You can receive a young tree from us or pick one up at a local nursery to plant with your Living Urn.

  • Receive a Young Tree from The Living Urn

You can browse the tree options we offer in your area by simply visiting our website and typing in your zip code in the space provided, or by asking your local funeral home about the options we provide in your area. The Living Urn is available in many funeral homes nationwide and there’s a good chance the local one in your area offers our patented tree burial system.

We offer over 50 trees nationwide (with more to come!) and we have a tailored menu of trees best suited for your area. For most areas we offer more than 20 beautiful tree options, including shade trees, flowering trees, small trees, large trees, flowering shrubs, and more.

  • Pick Up a Tree at Your Local Nursery

The Living Urn System Only is also available and this popular option is for families that would like to visit their local nursery and pick up a tree of choice to plant with their Living Urn bio urn and planting system.

When shopping for a tree, look for a young, vigorous specimen. You can plant any size tree with The Living Urn and we advise families to find container grown trees with intact root systems in a 1 gallon all the way up to 15 gallon pot. When inspecting your tree, make sure that there are no obvious roots already circling the trunk at the soil level - you can also gently examine with your fingers beneath the soil. Another red flag is if you see the roots growing out of the bottom of the pot. If you see either of these occurring, this would indicate that the tree may have been in its container for too long and the roots have turned in. If so, the roots may have a challenge expanding when transplanted and this can negatively affect its survival rate and long-term health and potential.

The Tree Memorial

willow tree memorial

After you decide upon the tree and plant it following the simple instructions provided with The Living Urn, the result is a beautiful tree memorial that can be cherished for many years to come.

Enjoy the beauty this special tree brings and remember and reflect on the loved one it honors!