Embracing Eco-Friendly Alternatives: The Rise of Tree Burial as a Sustainable Option

At a time when sustainability is at the forefront of people’s minds, many people are searching for environmentally-friendly alternatives to traditional burial ceremonies. 

One way of achieving this is through a tree burial—a sustainable, natural burial that prioritizes the preservation of our natural world. 

If your loved one would like an eco burial, or if it’s something you and your family are considering, this guide will provide everything you need to know to help you make your decision.

Embracing Eco Friendly Alternatives The Rise of Tree Burial as a Sustainable Option

What is a tree burial? 

A tree burial is a sustainable alternative to traditional burial and cremation. Often set within natural woodlands, it involves burying a biodegradable casket, such as a natural pine box or shroud, and planting a tree above the remains. 

As this type of container is biodegradable, it will release nutrients into the earth as it decomposes, supporting healthy soil for plants and trees to thrive. 

Why might a tree burial be right for you or your loved one?

Cremation and traditional burials provide heartfelt ways to honor the memories of loved ones, with a growing number of individuals looking for ways to lessen their environmental impact. In this pursuit, natural burial emphasizes minimizing the use of metals, non-renewable woods, and embalming fluids to reduce their effects on the natural ecosystem.

Tree burials can be a responsible choice for those of us who would like to be laid to rest in a way that doesn’t impact the world around us. 

Aside from being more environmentally friendly, tree burials offer a poignant way to reflect on the cycle of life and death. The biodegradable casket or urn breathes life into a tree as it decomposes—as one life ends, another begins.  

Tree burials create a lasting and natural memorial, offering families a serene landmark to visit and honor the legacy of their departed loved ones. This approach provides an intuitive and enduring way to cherish memories for generations.

How does a tree burial work? 

Before the tree burial takes place, you’ll have the opportunity to choose the location for the burial and the type of tree you’d like to plant above the biodegradable casket. 

You’ll also have the opportunity to select a container. Common options include a burial shroud, natural pine box, or even (on occasion) a Coeio burial mushroom suit. 

If you or your loved one would prefer to be cremated, you can also opt for a biodegradable urn. This process combines cremated remains with nutrients to allow a tree to thrive as the urn degrades. 

During the ceremony, the shroud, biodegradable casket, or urn will be buried, with the tree sapling planted above it. Of course, you will have opportunities to pay your respects and celebrate the life of the deceased. 

Green Burials at Hollywood Forever

Hollywood Forever has long been a historic urban cemetery, and we recognize our duty to give back to the planet. Our Ancestral Forest Project is part of our pledge to serve the evolving needs of the Los Angeles community. 

If you or your loved one is considering a tree burial, we’re here to help. Our ever-growing 52-acre forest provides the perfect backdrop for a sustainable burial ceremony. We currently offer four unique programs that will help you celebrate life and death without harming the planet.

You can find out more about our Ancestral Forest Project here. Or, if you’d like to talk through your options, don’t hesitate to reach out for a discussion with our team.


or talk to a Family Service Counselor — available 24/7:

(323) 469-1181

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