What could be more wonderful than to plant a living memorial tree to commemorate someone's life? Every time you or a family member or friend looks at the tree, a memory will be triggered and hopefully the beauty of the tree will bring back happy memories. Not only that, planting trees is a good contribution to the environment and to generations to come. For so many reasons, planting a tree to honour someone is a good thing to do.
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Pick a sturdy tree to plant, one that will live a long time, and one that can withstand disease and strong winds. Good examples are fir trees, pines native to the area in which they will be planted, and cedars. Oaks and sugar maples are also good choices. A bad example would be a Bradford pear tree, which is beautiful as a young tree, but it doesn't hold up well over several years.
Think of the person whose memory you are honouring. Think of what kind of tree he or she would choose to plant for themselves if they were here. Maybe you can remember a specific tree the person once mention they liked.
Plant a tree to commemorate a birth or a death, keeping in mind the time of year on which the anniversary of the event falls. Choose a tree that blooms around that time. There are some winter bloomers in certain growing zones, such as witch hazels. Plant a spring bloomer specifically to symbolise rebirth and renewal as a memorial tree.
Consider the site where the tree is going to be planted. For instance, don't plant it where it might grow up and interfere with overhead power lines. Eventually, the utility company will send someone to trim the branches away from the power lines, thus disfiguring the memorial tree.
Plant a tree in memory of the passing of a loved one, say a grandparent, in a location where he or she may have sat and looked out over the yard. Or, plant it outside the window where the grandparent sat and gazed through her living room or bedroom window. To commemorate the birth of a child, consider planting a tree outside the window of the nursery.
Select trees based on the soil it will be planted in, and how much sun or shade they need to thrive. When selecting ornamental trees, remember that they will require pruning along the way.
Tips and warnings
- If you don't have a location to plant a memorial tree or maybe you are renting, then send in money to the Arbor Day organisation, and they will plant a tree in a national forest in memory of your loved one.You can also donate money to a local arboretum or park to have a tree planted in memory of a loved one.
- Trees in yards require mulching for good maintenance. It keeps weeds and grasses down so the roots of the tree don't have to compete for water and nutrients with them.
- If you planted a memorial tree in your yard and are now moving away, take seeds from the tree or a cutting to root so you can plant it at your new home.
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