How to Memorialize Someone with a Memorial Tree and a Plaque

Two Methods:Local Memorial OptionsNational Living Memorials

Commemorating the life of a friend or relative may include looking beyond traditional flowers or donations. If your loved one enjoyed the outdoors, then planting a memorial tree is an excellent option. Many city and national departments offer the opportunity to plant trees and hang plaques in public spaces. You can learn how to memorialize someone with a memorial tree and a plaque by investigating the options below.

Method 1
Local Memorial Options

  1. 1
    Call your city Parks and Recreation Department. Many cities provide the opportunity to memorialize a loved one with trees, plaques and benches. Ask if they have a current tree or bench memorial program.
    • Some cities have periods of growth where they accept tree memorials, and they may not provide the option during other budget or planting cycles.
    • Memorial tree planting prices can vary from $50 to $400 or more, depending upon the city and location of the tree. These prices usually include yearly maintenance fees. Plaques are generally an additional amount.
  2. 2
    Inquire with local cemeteries. More and more cemeteries are willing to plant trees in their landscaping for memorials.
  3. 3
    Consider planting a tree on your own property. Inquire with local authorities as to what costs and restrictions there are on tree planting.
    • Shop for memorial trees at a website, such as This site provides many different tree planting options. Garden plaques are also available.
    • Consider buying a sapling from a local nursery. Then, consider purchasing a tree plaque, from a website, like These plaques are specially designed so that they wrap around the tree.

Method 2
National Living Memorials

  1. 1
    Look for a local city where there is a Living Memorials project. The Forest Service has teamed up with city and state governments to build tree and garden memorials for the victims of September 11.
    • If your loved one is not going to be memorialized as a response to September 11th, you may be able to ask your local Living Memorial garden about other options.
  2. 2
    Contact a nationwide illness organization, such as the American Cancer Society or the, if your relative or friend was affected by a debilitating illness. National organizations frequently plant gardens to memorialize those who have died.
  3. 3
    Call your state branch of the Forest Service. Ask if tree planting is being organized in your state. You may be allowed to help plant a tree in a replanted forest.
    • In this case, the use of plaques may be limited to those things that work with the surrounding environment, such as rocks. You may be able to engrave a rock for use as a memorial plaque.
    • Remember to obtain the GPS coordinates, if you plant your memorial tree in a forest. As the landscape changes, it may be harder to find your memorial tree.


  • Consider holding a ceremony during the tree planting. Ask friends and family members to help with process of digging, planting and watering the earth. A memorial tree can be a place that many people return to in order to remember the person who has passed.

Things You'll Need

  • Parks and Recreation Department
  • $50 to $400
  • Illness memorial garden
  • Cemeteries
  • Engraved garden plaque
  • Engraved tree plaque
  • State/National Living Memorial Garden
  • State Forest Service

Article Info

Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens