Exploring The Tradition Of Memorial Tree Planting

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Trees have been viewed as a token of remembrance for centuries. In the Pacific Northwest, the Killamook people care for a tree that has maintained respect for the dead for three centuries; body remains were placed among the branches in honor, and the tree is considered a public resource. In Japan, trees are embedded into cultural heritage and protected by each generation.

Tree planting and its spiritual and cultural significance dates back to ancient times. In the Jewish faith, a time-honored tradition is to plant a tree in remembrance of a life. Tree-planting ceremonies are a common practice following the funeral and shiva period. Likewise, Arbor Day celebrates the planting of trees across countries and acknowledges their importance to health and the environment.

Today, participating in tree planting is common. It serves as a way to honor the life of the departed as a memorial. Organizations across the U.S. are dedicated to tree planting memorialization services, not only as a symbol of life but also as a way to give back to the environment. These organizations often plant trees in struggling areas and National Forests. As you ponder the concept of memorial tree planting, consider the information below for further reflection.

There are many reasons to plant a memorial tree.

Planting a tree signifies that the spirit lives on.

Memorial tree planting is a spiritual practice that begins with honoring a life. A tree planted in the name of the recently deceased symbolizes that the memory of the individual will live on, both figuratively and perhaps, in the tree itself.

Planting a tree provides a sense of permanence and immortality.

Trees purify the air, provide shelter, and surpass human lifespan. We look to trees as sources of strength and resilience. It is only natural that we gravitate toward trees following the loss of life. Memorializing the life of a loved one with trees can help to create a sense of immortality or permanence toward the recently passed person. Like the spirit of loved ones, the memorial tree is always with us.

Planting a tree can provide comfort to those in mourning.

How memorial tree planting is viewed varies by culture, spiritual practice, and individual interpretation. Some people feel that planting a tree in memory of a loved one is an expansion of life, an implication that their loved one lives on, with their spirit now in the form of a tree. From this lens, we can see a connection between memorial tree planting and karmic law. If for no other reason than to comfort those in mourning, memorial tree planting is an attempt to quell the void that’s left after a loved one passes.

Plan your honorable contribution.

Whatever has you considering memorial tree planting, you are encouraged to contact organizations providing these services. Your donation may serve in community rehabilitation efforts or play a part in improving a National Forest. Contact a memorial tree planting service to get started planning your contribution in honor of a loved one.