Memorial Trees

Picking out a Memorial Tree

Planting a tree in honor of a loved one or friend can be an excellent way to remember them.  While we will focus on trees in this article, shrubs are also an excellent choice for memorial plants, especially if you are on a tighter budget.

Where to Plant?

Hiawatha Maple Tree
There are many places for a memorial tree, even at a school.

Picking out a general location is the first step to planning a memorial tree.  You will want to know if it is going on top of a hill or down in a valley where it stays wet, or if it will go in a shady or sunny area.  All of these considerations will help you pick out the best tree.

There are so many great places to plant the tree.  The first thought is usually at the recipient’s house; however, other great locations include at a city park, library, or other public space where others can enjoy the shade.  Think about the person you wish to remember and where his or her favorite places were – even a state park or nearby lake may be a good option for someone who loved to fish or camp.  Many times the recipient is given the option to pick where he or she would like it, but giving 1 or 2 ideas can be helpful to those who already have a lot on their mind.  Be sure to take on the responsibility of getting permission when planting in a public space for the recipient.

Picking out a Tree

Picking out a Memorial Tree
Picking out a Memorial Tree

Bring some information about the planting location to Grimm’s Gardens to get the best plant for the location.  We will want to know how much space it has to grow tall and wide.  Are there any powerlines in the area?  Will it be in full sun or part shade?  These will be some of the questions you may hear us ask.  We suggest that you pick a tree that has a long life such as an oak tree.  Try to avoid fast growers because they tend to have a shorter life.  Check out the list below for many great options.  Please note that these are general recommendations and there are some cases where recommended trees do not make sense and other situations where a typically not recommended tree would fit perfectly (such as if it was a favorite).

Trees we recommend:

  • Purple Robe Locust (Fantastic blooms)
  • Tulip Tree (Blooms & shade)
  • American Elm (Fast growing and long lived)
  • Oaks (Great for wildlife)
  • Maple (Excellent fall color)
  • Linden (Critical plant for pollinators)
  • Crabapple (Good for smaller spaces)

Trees we don’t recommend:

  • Canadian Cherry & related trees (Short lived)
  • Flowering pear (Invasive & short lived)
  • Aspen (Short lived)
  • Weeping Willow (Short lived)

Other Considerations

Memorial Plaque
Memorial Plaque

One thing to consider when planning a memorial tree is the planting.  Will you plant it for the recipient?  Do you want to include planting in the gift and have Grimm’s Gardens plant it?  This is important as it can affect the overall budget for the tree.  Some planning ahead of time can make the process as stress free as possible for the family members or recipients.

Other options you will have include a tree planting kit (stake and fertilizer), Myke (root stimulator which adds a 5 year warranty), and mulch (usually 1-2 bags is enough).

Finally, consider adding a memorial plaque to label the tree.  This is especially beneficial in public spaces where many will be enjoying the shade and habitat for birds that the tree provides.

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