Guide to Planting a Tree in Memory of a Loved One

Published September 10, 2020
family planting a tree

Planting a tree in memory of a loved one is a great way to honor and remember the person. A guide for planting a tree in memory, how to choose the tree, and where to plant it can help you decide on the best one.

Ways to Plant a Tree in Memory of a Loved One

There are several ways that you can plant a tree in memory of a love one. Choose the best way to express honoring a loved one from a DIY to participating in a forest restoration project.

DIY Planting a Tree

You can plant a tree in your yard to memorialize a loved one. A few easy steps can help you decide on the best tree to plant.

1. Type of Trees to Plant in Memory of a Loved One

You must decide on the type of tree you want to plant. You should consider the region where you intend to plant the tree, how tall the mature tree will be, and the tree spread (width).

2. Find Your Hardiness Zone

Your first consideration should be the hardiness zone where you intend to plant the tree. Regions are divided into zones dictated by the annual temperature ranges. All trees and plants are labeled with their respective hardiness zones. You'll also find this information on supplier websites.

3. Select Tree With Appropriate Symbolic Meaning

If the deceased had a favorite tree type, then you may want to choose it. To help you reach a decision, you can consider what the tree symbolizes.

Tree Meaning
Apple Sacred symbol of love
Cedar Eternity
Cherry Rebirth, reincarnation
Dogwood Rebirth, resurrection of Jesus
Hazelnut Wisdom
Leland cypress Death and immortality
Lilac Rebirth, renewal
Magnolia Majestic beauty, perseverance
Maple Endurance, fortitude
Oak Strength, sturdiness, courage
Pecan Wealth, abundance
Weeping willow hope, continuity

4. Choose Best Area to Plant Your Memory Tree

Most DIYers planting a tree in memory of a loved one choose a spot in their front or backyard so they can enjoy watching it grow. You want to consider the mature size of the tree when choosing the perfect place to plant your memory tree. You can follow a quick and easy landscape guide to help you find that cherished spot.

5. Plant Your Tree in Memory of a Loved One

Once you've settled on the type of tree you want, you're ready to dig a hole and plant it. You can follow easy instructions on how to plant a tree to ensure your tree survives.

Should You Plant a Bare Root Tree?

A bare root tree is an inexpensive and economical way to plant a tree that will grow into a mature tree. A bare root tree is just that, the root of the tree without soil surrounding the roots.

Should You Plant a Container Tree?

If you don't wish to wait for a bare root tree to mature, you can plant a small container tree. This tree comes in a quart size or larger nursery container. Simply transfer the tree with the soil into a prepared planting hole.

Should You Plant a Ball Root Tree?

A ball root tree is more mature and larger than a bare root or container tree. It comes with burlap wrapped about its root ball. This tree will cost more than the younger trees. Place the root ball into the hole and cut the burlap away from the tree to plant.

Bare Root Tree Gift With Arbor Day Foundation Membership

You can give a tree through the Arbor Day Foundation that sends a card to the deceased's family to alert them of your gift. Other ways you can plant a tree in memory of a love one is through an Arbor Day Foundation membership that comes with 10 bare root trees. You may decide that a grouping of these trees makes a great memorial to your loved one. If you prefer, you can give your trees to the reforestation of the rainforest or a forest in need.

Buy and Dedicate a Tree for a Reforestation Project

You may choose to participate in a specific reforestation project. For this type of tree planting, you can select a project or buy a tree as part of the ongoing restoration project for damaged forests. The damage may be due to forest fires, insect infestation, acid rain, or disease. You can participate through programs and organizations like A Living Tribute that focus on restorations of national forests. A card detailing your gift of a tree is sent to the deceased's family.

Choices for Planting a Tree in Memory of a Loved One

You have several choices when it comes to planting a tree in memory of a deceased love one. You should consider all aspects of planting a tree and decide on the one that best fits your purpose.

Guide to Planting a Tree in Memory of a Loved One