When I think about Trees, one of the things that fascinates me the most is their incredible potential for longevity. While there are a few short-lived trees, many of your “normal,” Texas native trees outlive the average person by fifty to a hundred years. And this doesn’t even consider the extraordinary, ancient trees that live a thousand years or more—in fact, some of the oldest living organisms on earth are trees. Knowing this, it makes sense that people in many cultures throughout history have been drawn to the planting of trees to mark significant occasions or cultural rite of passages in our lives, or to honor, celebrate, or remember a loved one.
I often find myself wondering what to give as a gift to celebrate milestones like a birthday, new birth or adoption, wedding, employee recognition, retirements and graduations. Planting trees on someone’s behalf is a great way to honor them – and since trees provide so many natural benefits, it is a gift that keeps on giving. Trees clean our air, absorbing harmful carbon dioxide and producing oxygen. They help to clean water for the millions of Americans who depend on a tree every time they turn on their faucets.
When I lost my son, Richard Carol, I wanted something that would continue to grow and bloom every season that was in memory of him and to commemorate his short life. I found myself drawn to a memorial tree for him as a meaningful way to remember and honor him. I did not realize it then, but I have been able to experience the joy of watching the tree grow and knowing it is in his memory for many years now and for many more to come.
When memorial trees are planted in honor of a person who has passed away, these memorial trees sometimes have plaques with the honoree’s name, birth and death dates, or a short motto. Fannin Tree Farm provides a certificate of remembrance on all of our memorial and celebration trees. Memorial trees can be planted with or without the person’s ashes. Some people may choose to select a tree in a park where groves of trees are planted in memoriam. Some families prefer to plant the tree on private property — at the family home or place of personal meaning. Wherever you choose to plant your memorial tree, the practice can be very healing as a life-affirming way to remember and honor a loved one, as it has for me.
Not only are trees a wonderful gift of celebration and remembrance but some people choose to plant a tree for other celebration and memorial events. Some plant trees for each of their children. Some plant a tree in honor of building or moving into a new home. Another wonderful idea that’s gained popularity is a wedding unity tree ceremony, where the bride and groom combine the soil from each of their homes into the pot of a single tree, then plant it in their new home in honor of their marriage. What a great symbol for a couple’s growing love. The traditional gift for the fifth anniversary is wood. The wood symbolizes a relationship that has become solid and long-lasting, representing the growing strength of the marriage bond. Still others find trees they plant to be the perfect lasting, living memorial to someone they have lost.
In honor of a parent who has passed away, one might plant an oak tree where, when it becomes older, they might visit to sit peacefully in its shade and feel connected to their loved one. After losing a pet that was part of the family for many years, planting a tree in their favorite spot in the yard is a good way to remember them. After all, they carved out a special place in our hearts and in our lives. These are just a few of the reasons people plant a celebration or memorial tree.
Fannin Tree Farm would love to help you commemorate a special occasion, celebration or loss in your life or your family’s life. Come in and talk to one of our tree specialists to learn more about the native trees we carry. Fannin has an assortment of tree sizes starting in 30-gallon containers to commemorate these celebration and memorial events in your life.