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From ashes to trees


Innovative thinking, design and sustainability have been brought together to offer an alternative to traditional burial and urn design. It’s now been made easy and elegant to take our ashes, plant them with a seed and turn them into a tree.

Creating a living memorial

Creating a living memorial, such as planting a tree, can be a profound way to honour someone who has died.

It can be a symbol and anchor to reflect on a person’s life, our connectedness, and the changing nature of grief and our relationship with the deceased.

From ashes to a tree

There are urns available that allow you to:

  • add ashes, soil and a tree seed;
  • care for the urn until a seedling appears; and
  • plant the urn, which will biodegrade so your ashes and seedling can meld with the soil around them, and grow into a tree.


They can be planted at home, or with permission in a public space, and have the potential to transform our traditional cemeteries.

Biodegradable urns

The design of the urns ranges from functional to elaborate such that they can include a plaque that your tree can grow through.

Companies that offer biodegradable urns include:


Two key messages

The two key messages that I’d like you to take away from this short post are:

  • You can make decisions that contribute to environmental sustainability in relation to all aspects of your life and death; and
  • There are many products and services related to death care, funerals and burials, which can help you to profoundly express your unique nature, and that of your loved ones; and it’s important to explore them at any stage of your life.


Related articles on The Last Post

Other articles in the “Environmental funerals” series:


This post provides an overview of our articles to make it easy for you to find what you need: