Your Guide to Planting a Memorial Tree

Planting a memorial tree is a beautiful way to treasure the memory of a loved one. It will be a reminder for generations to come and is an environmentally friendly way to celebrate your loved one’s life and let their legacy live on.

Where can I plant a memorial tree?

There are many places you could consider for your memorial from your own garden to dedicating a grove in a National Forrest. Here are the three main options for planting a memorial tree:

  • Planting it on your own land, for example in your garden
  • On private land owned by someone else, you must always gain permission from the landowner
  • Donating money to an organisation who will plant a memorial tree on your behalf in a special area.

1. Planting a tree in your own garden

Find a suitable spot for the tree and seek advice on which tree that would suit the soil, space and the amount of sunlight the area will receive. Think about how big the tree will grow and make sure the area is suitable. You might want to consider a small tree and plant it in a large pot, so should you ever move, the tree can come with you. To commemorate the life of a pet, you could consider planting the tree in their favourite spot in the garden as a daily reminder of your four-legged friend.

What type of memorial tree should I plant?

Choose a tree that is unique to the person you are celebrating. You may choose to plant a tree that your loved one enjoyed or a one that symbolises their characteristics. Most trees have a special meaning, some popular choices for memorial trees are:

  • Oak  strength and knowledge
  • Silver Birch new beginnings, regeneration and hope
  • Cherry tree good fortune and happiness
  • Rowan protection and inspiration, also known as the tree of life
  • Hazel wisdom and learning
  • Fig Tree wisdom and success.

The Present Tree has a wide range of young trees which arrive beautifully wrapped with detailed information on planting and care. Visit their site here

Sprinkling ashes around the tree

You might choose to scatter your loved one’s ashes around the base of the tree, as the tree grows the ashes nourish the tree as a living legacy. Be aware that ashes can change the soil chemistry, so seek advice on whether this will affect your tree. Some people recommend mixing the ashes with particular soil or compost first to make them more balanced with the chemistry of the ground.

2. Planting a tree on private land

You may decide to plant a tree in a spot that had a special meaning to your loved one – perhaps a local park, garden, school or in the grounds of a special building. You must get the landowners permission to do this. If you are thinking of scattering your loved one’s ashes around the tree, let the landowners know this as well, there may be restrictions in place.

Also keep in mind that, if the tree is on private land, the area could get sold or changed and you may no longer be able to access your memorial tree.

3. Using an organisation to plant a tree

You can support nature across the UK, by dedicating either a tree or a section of woodland or forest to the memory of your loved one. They will plant the trees on your behalf and you will be helping to grow an area and support wildlife. This provides a peaceful place to reflect in a natural environment.

1. The Woodland Trust have woods all over The UK and an option for you to add a plaque or a marker for an extra fee. To thank you for your donation you receive a certificate, map and woodland information sheet.

2. The Earth Trust has planting locations in Little Wittenham Wood, between Oxford and Reading. You, along with a small group of family and friends, (please check current COVID restrictions) will be able to plant the tree on a particular date.

3. The National Forrest can plant a tree for you or you can join them at one of their planting events. They also offer the option for you to dedicate a grove to your loved one and be a part of helping them create a long term future.

Please note, most organisations don’t allow you to scatter ashes as it changes the soil chemistry and can affect wildlife. Please check with each organisation directly for their policies.

At Inscripture we offer a range of Memorial Jewellery & Gifts to help you treasure the memory of a loved one. Discover our full range of Handwriting Jewellery

We also stock a range of Ashes Jewellery so you can keep them close, always.

Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels