Trees have witnessed American history – the first Thanksgiving feast, every battle of the Revolutionary War and Civil War, Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, the California Gold Rush, the Roaring 20s, sending our troops off to fight in world wars and the home comings that would follow, every new president inauguration, the Great Depression, economic prosperity...
"Witness Trees", as they are commonly referred to, have survived centuries of change in America and have seen our great nation rise to become what it is today. Whether it’s the white oak trees growing along the battlefield in Gettysburg, or the Southern Magnolia tree planted at the White House as a small seedling by Andrew Jackson in 1829 in memory of his late wife Rachel (that would later be a favorite place of President Harry Truman, Jackie Kennedy, and other White House residents and visitors). President Franklin D. Roosevelt mentioned this particular tree many times and how he and Winston Churchill sat “underneath that old magnolia tree”.
As America continues to adapt and grow, so does our preference of how we want to be remembered and memorialized. Historically, people would be buried at a cemetery with a casket, vault and a marker with their name and date of birth and death. However, cremation is now surging and in 2015 overtook burial as the leading choice of Americans. This is due to a number of reasons, most notably affordability and people who are less “traditional”.
With the increase in cremation, people are also looking for that unique way to be remembered. This includes planting a loved one’s ashes with The Living Urn bio urn to grow a memory tree. This new memorial option is growing in popularity among Americans and will be the new wave of “witness trees” over the next few centuries. It’s a simple process and your cremated remains can be planted by family or friends to grow into an oak, maple, willow, dogwood, aspen, spruce, pine, cherry tree - the list goes on and on. Your tree can be there when children, grandchildren and great grandchildren learn to walk, graduate from college, and become parents themselves. Your tree can be a place for family and friends to have picnics, read a book on a warm summer day, hold birthday parties– the possibilities are endless. It will also be there to experience the next phase in American history.
What will that look like? What will your tree witness?