What is Green Burial?
A green burial is an environmentally-friendly burial performed naturally, without any harmful chemicals. This helps to ensure the soil that the person is buried in is preserved in its natural state and preserve the surrounding ecology. Rather than using a traditional casket, a shroud or biodegradable container made of wood, wicker or cardboard may be used. There are no vaults or plastic materials involved that cannot biodegrade. Green burial also pertains to the interment of cremated remains into the ground, whether buried or scattered. This is also how tree burials are performed.
What is Tree Burial?
When opting for a green burial, people are given the choice of the kind of grave marker they would prefer. These choices typically include a natural marker such as a boulder, but can also include living options, such as planting a succulent or a tree. When a tree is chosen, cremated remains of the departed are combined with the soil of a tree to be planted in a biodegradable urn. The tree will take root and grow, resulting in a living memorial to a life well lived.
Do Different Trees Have Different Meanings?
While any tree can make for an acceptable memorial, there is some symbolic meaning assigned to different trees.
Maple trees are considered a tree of generosity, selfless offering, and balance due to their leafy branches. Its branches will offer shade to those who visit, looking for a moment of clarity or quiet.
Pine trees symbolize ambition and eternity, as their trunks and limbs reach forever upwards towards the sky, growing ever closer to infinity.
Cedar trees represent a spirit of cleansing and protection, as well as healing. Their scent is known to refresh and replenish outdoor air.
Oak trees symbolize strength and wisdom with their large trunks and sturdy root systems.
Magnolia trees with their white flowers represent pure love and fidelity.
There is no wrong choice, but be sure to discuss your preference with a funeral director.
Tree Planting Ceremony
Once a tree has been chosen, the planting ceremony can be arranged. It’s up to you whether you would like an existing tree, that has already been growing or if you would prefer to plant a seed and let it grow from the very beginning. This living tree memorial will then be planted in the remains of the biodegradable urn or ground, signifying the transition from one life lived to another beginning. Many find healing and solace in this celebration of life.
Why Tree Burial?
For many, the decision to have a tree burial is deeply personal. Many who choose this end of life celebration and living memorial are passionate about the environment and preserving the future, as well as providing a service to the community even after they have gone on. Tree burials help urban areas with filtering more CO2 out of the air while generating more clean oxygen as well as cooling their surroundings. They support local wildlife and vegetation, becoming important contributors to the surrounding ecosystems. They are living memorials that represent a commitment to a life well lived during a loved one’s time on earth. If green burial is something that speaks to you, we look forward to reviewing this personal and beautiful end of life option with you.
We hope that you have found this information helpful as you consider the best way to celebrate and memorialize your life or your loved one. We are here to help in whatever way we can. If you have any questions regarding a tree burial, green burial, or natural burial, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We want to help you make the best decisions for you and your family to celebrate the memory of a life lived. If you have any questions about our cemetery, funeral home or cremation services, please contact us.