Many people are opting to be cremated after they pass instead of the traditional in-ground burial. There are many reasons for this, including cremation costs are typically much lower than burial and that many families are less traditional than they once were. With the increase in the number of people choosing cremation, many new memorial options incorporating ashes have become available over the past few years. This includes new urns for scattering, burial and water ceremonies, as well as infusing ashes into glass, pieces of jewelry, or gemstones. It also includes growing a tree memorial of a loved one with The Living Urn®. With this, they can now be a tree after they pass which will serve as a beautiful living reminder of the person and what they meant to you.
How Can I Be a Tree?
Since this is a relatively new concept, many people are unfamiliar with how it works. It’s simple - after the cremation is performed, you will receive your loved one’s ashes back from the funeral home or crematorium. All you need to do is order The Living Urn bio urn and planting system, which will be shipped directly to your doorstep (or, if you prefer, it can be sent to the funeral home). The Living Urn comes with everything you need, including the BioUrn®, a specially designed urn that holds the ashes and remains rigid above ground and quickly breaks down after planting, a bag of RootProtect®, an all-natural ash neutralizing soil additive, a bag of mulch, detailed planting instructions, and it comes packaged in an attractive bamboo container – perfect to transport the system to that perfect place to plant and for use as a display at a funeral or celebration.
In addition to the BioUrn® and planting system, The Living Urn also gives you the option to choose from over fifty tree options to plant with its proprietary system, which are narrowed down by zip code to the ones that grow best in your area. These come 2-4’ in height and are shipped in quart or gallon pots, with robust and healthy root systems. We offer a variety of small to large trees, flowering trees and shrubs, as well as evergreens.
Once you have your loved one’s ashes back, The Living Urn system, and tree or shrub of choice, all you need to do is follow the easy step-by-step instructions provided with The Living Urn to grow a living memory!
When Do I Plant?
This is a question we get often. Maybe you have a specific date in mind as it has special meaning to the loved one who passed, or maybe there's a date where family and friends can come in from out of town and be part of the planting. In addition, many people ask if it’s okay to plant during the Winter – this depends on where you plan on planting and if the ground is frozen. If the ground is frozen, hold off on planting - many families in this situation will order The Living Urn now and keep their loved one’s ashes in the urn and store in the bamboo case until the Spring (The Living Urn can be stored for as long as needed, as long as it’s kept out of the elements in a dry place). If you expect the ground will freeze soon and want to plant now, it is recommended to plant a few weeks before the ground freezes.
The Living Urn makes it easy for you to pick an appropriate planting date for you and your family. After selecting The Living Urn and tree of your choice, you can simply note on our website the date you prefer to have the tree arrive by. The tree you select will be sent separately from The Living Urn and directly to you at that time ready-to-plant. If you don’t know the planting date, you can simply note at checkout that you would like a voucher for the tree. This will give you the flexibility to contact us anytime to have the tree shipped out to you.
Alternatively, if you prefer to pick up a tree, shrub, or rose bush at your local nursery to plant with The Living Urn, that’s fine too. We provide detailed instructions on how to plant The Living Urn with a tree or shrub of any size. Simply order The Living Urn system only and use with a local tree or plant of your choice!
What are the Most Popular Trees for Memorials?
The Living Urn offers over fifty tree and shrub options, narrowed down by zip code to the ones that grow best in each area of the U.S. The most popular trees chosen by families includes the following:
- Red Maple: The red maple is an extremely hardy tree that has one of the widest growing ranges in the U.S. – from Northern Maine down to Florida. It is highly resilient and can adapt to a variety of soil conditions and climates. In addition, many people choose a red maple due to its sheer beauty and amazing Fall colors!
- Pink or White Dogwood: The dogwood has some of the most brilliant blooms, showing off a vibrant pink or white color. This beautiful tree has unique and irregular branching patterns that make it even more special!
- Weeping Willow: A favorite of many, the weeping willow is also a symbol of peace and harmony. Its long slender leaves flow from its hanging branches making for a truly beautiful tree memorial.
- Red Oak: The oak is a long-lived, hardy tree. It is one of the most popular trees chosen in many states throughout the Midwest and Northeast and is a symbol of strength and resilience.
- Trained Tiered Juniper Bonsai: A long-lived bonsai tree that is a great addition to any patio or garden. It was what most people think about when they hear the word “bonsai”. This beautiful tree is planted with The Living Urn Indoors/Patio – a unique new planter urn that comes in three colors – white, blue and beige.
Can I Have Multiple Tree Memorials?
The Living Urn was designed to be used with up to one set of a person’s ashes, or as little of the ashes you prefer. Many families choose to divide up a person’s ashes and have multiple tree memorials. This is because of many reasons, including that there are multiple family members and each want their own memorial, you have more than one special place to plant, or you can’t just decide on a single tree type. If this is something of interest to you, The Living Urn offers a Family Program where you receive a reduced price when ordering more than one system.