One of the most appropriate ways to celebrate someone's life and pay tribute to them after they have died is with a memorial tree. Memorial trees are planted to honor a loved one by helping the environment and adding to the quality of life for others for years to come. Family and friends can plant trees privately or through an organization, and the family will receive a certificate of the planting.
Choose the type of tree you wish to plant. Different types of trees have different memorial meanings. An apple tree stands for love and healing, cherry stands for new beginnings, an oak signifies independence and strength, and a popular represents courage. Consider the qualities the person had that you are memorializing.
Select a location for your tree. You may wish to plant the tree in your yard or a favorite park. If the memorial is for a child, you might get permission to plant the tree at the school the child had attended. Some companies specializing in planting memorial trees allow you to select any U.S. state for a tree planting. You might choose the city your loved one grew up in or their favorite vacation spot.
Plant your tree in the early spring or fall. Your local nursery or gardening specialist can tell you the best time to plant trees in your area.
Fertilize and water your tree as it grows. If you are planting the tree yourself, you can ensure the tree remains healthy. Use a good 20-20-20 fertilizer once in the spring and again in the fall. Water your tree daily when it first begins to grow and then weekly for the first few months. Once established, it will likely not need water unless unseasonably dry.
Invite family and friends to the memorial planting. You can share the event with others who cared about the individual being memorialized. This allows people to support one other during the loss of their loved one.
Install a plaque at the base of the tree that gives the name, date of birth and date of death of the person being honored. The plaque serves as a memorial for many years to come.