Become a Tree After Death: Tree Burial & Tree Funeral Guide (Costs, Laws)

Man standing next to a tree with a picture at the base learned the options for how to become a Tree After Death by planting a Tree for Someone Who Has Died.

You or a family member can become a tree after death if you want to keep your memories alive through another life form.

Trees are symbolic for various cultures worldwide, but they depict the life cycle universally, from seedlings to mature trees.

The concept of natural burial is becoming more popular.

This complete guide explains the burial laws, costs, and guides for how to become a tree after death.

Planting a Tree for Someone Who Has Died: How To Become a Tree After Death

If the departed loved nature, there are thoughtful ways to honor their memory by incorporating them into the environment.

  • Tree Pod Burial

Companies design options for people who prefer tree pod burial to convert ashes to trees through biodegradable burial urns, making this the most effective way to become a tree after death. After cremation, the ashes mix with soil and nutrients, and a seedling is placed on the urn.

Photo of a casket made of rattan about to be cremated.

(Image: The Good Funeral Guide15)

Afterward, you can plant it and everything inside, and gradually, all the components will fuse with the soil, and the tree will grow. People will feel their presence in the living tree, and other family members can also be buried on the same property.

  • Scattering Ashes

If the deceased loved visiting a particular park or forest, you could scatter their ashes there to make them one with nature. You can ask for permission and seek a permit when necessary before that and find the perfect spot.

  • Eco-Friendly Burial

One of the most admirable qualities one may possess is eco-friendliness. The environment can be greatly impacted by even the smallest actions like using compostable trash bags or sustainable swimwear.

Eco-conscious people know the effects of conventional burials on the environment and would instead go for more environmentally-friendly options. Green cemeteries are ideal alternatives where the body is buried in a natural biodegradable casket.7,9

The body directly enriches the soil, unlike traditional wooden caskets, and you pay, and the proceeds go to help take care of the cemetery.

The Best Memorial Trees for Deceased Loved Ones and the Symbolisms Behind Them

When picking the perfect tree for a natural burial, there are various aspects to consider but most go for symbolism, where they attach a meaning to the tree to represent the life of their loved one. You want a hardy, long-lasting species that will stay healthy for years after death.

Most families in the US choose cherry, willows, maples, oaks, dogwoods, crape myrtles, and others, depending on the state. It also helps to consider your prevailing climate and weather to help you find a suitable option.

The following trees may be ideal for you if symbolism matters.

AppleBeauty, Love, Generosity, Fertility
AlderEndurance, Passion
ElderEvolution, Life Continuation
OakStrength, Fortitude
BirchNew Beginnings

Where Can You Plant a Tree for Someone Who Has Died?

Where you plant a biodegradable urn or tree or scatter the ashes of a loved one depends on your region’s laws which vary according to your state.1

The federal trade commission regulates funeral laws, and it is best to confirm the rules first.10

1. Private Property

Planting on private property (backyard) is one of the first choices for most families because the tree stays closer to the home, and they can see it whenever they want.

Close up photo of a cross made of cement commonly seen in cemeteries.

(Image: Sandy Millar16)

If the law allows it and the property owners have consented, you can pick a tree that matches the location and weather to ensure that it stays healthy for years. You can also seek transplanting services to keep it with you when you move.

2. Planter

The urn can stay outdoors or indoors in a planter, and you can choose from several species to find one that will fit in the small container. You can also keep it indoors and then replant it later when it starts to grow.

Alternatively, if you want the planter to stay indoors, you can go for a dwarf species that will take longer to outgrow the space and won’t require replanting.

3. Forest or Park

If your loved one had a favorite trail in the forest, you could plant the urn there, provided you seek permission. The tree can grow in a conducive environment with others, and you will also be helping in conservation.

Alternatively, you can find particular areas near lakes or endangered places that need reforestation or choose a sacred place they love, like near the church or a senior person’s home.

Related Reading: Carbon Removal Offsets Explained: Capture Emissions and Erase Your Ecological Footprint (Complete Guide)

Which Are the Perfect Trees for Funerals?

When you purchase an urn, it comes with any seedling you want, ready for final planting, and you can go for evergreen or seasonal trees. Evergreen is a top choice for people who want stylish, resilient trees that stay healthy all year round, like cypress and pine.

On the other hand, seasonal trees require particular climatic conditions to thrive, and users consider their locations before picking one.11 You can order one when it is the ideal time to plant or keep it in the urn as you wait.

The top seasonal tree choices include red maple, tulip tree, saucer magnolia, and several others that grow into stunning trees.4 Therefore, you can decide based on your preference and your loved one’s wishes.

Become a Tree After Death: Upsides of Being a Tree After Death

Representation of life is one of the main reasons people opt to become a tree after death. They may have gone, but the tree will stand as a symbol of transition as it grows gracefully to maturity.

Various cultures attach different meanings to trees, which is the best way to help your family remember you. As long as the tree stands, it will be a permanent reminder of your life and comfort your loved ones.

Photo of a tomb partially tilted beside a tree bark with some dried grass.

(Image: alisonupdyke17)

It marks an evolution of your life, and people will water and care for the tree to ensure it grows. Besides the attached meaning, tree burials are eco-friendlier than traditional funerals since the body doesn’t require a long time to decompose.

Consequently, you will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and care for your planet. The more people plant trees, the faster the afforestation measures, and the tree can serve as a planter or backyard decor, especially the elegant seasonal trees.

How Becoming a Tree After Death Is Symbolic?

Trees are one of the most cherished aspects of nature, and cultures around the world revere them. Tree memorials have been present for centuries, some even treating them as sacred.6

You can maintain the same in your family by becoming trees after death to honor the departed and keep their memories. Each tree has a special meaning, and you can beautifully portray that for people who have never met them.

What Is a Cremation Tree Pod?

Instead of placing the body in a casket, a cremation tree pod helps one become a tree after death. This structure is biodegradable and gradually decomposes and releases the enclosed matter.

The bacteria in the soil break it down and convert it to fertilizer for the tree above. It is one of the most fascinating and eco-friendly natural burial options, thanks to Italian designers Anna Citelli and Raoul Bretzel.3,12

When You Die Turn Into a Tree: Tree Pod Burial Process

For terminally ill people, it starts by picking the tree, but you can also do it even when healthy to ensure your wishes are fulfilled. Cremation follows after death, and they place the ashes in the urn’s center and encapsulate it, and your loved ones will find the right place to plant them.

After burying the urn, the tree goes above it, and they will tend to it as it grows as a form of living memorial. The jar will decompose and fuse with the soil and ashes as it obtains the nutrients.

How Can You Have Your Ashes Turned Into a Tree When You Want To Become a Tree After Death?

You can become a tree after death by growing from a biodegradable urn or a burial pod. After cremation, they send the ashes to the family, who place them in the pod, which is later reattached with more nutrients and anything else required.

They plant the pod in the ground and erect a tree above it. Gradually, the pod will degrade, and the ashes and soil will mix, forming a fertile ground for plant growth.

The tree will use these nutrients as fertilizer, and the pod will soon disperse within the ground.

What Is a Tree Urn Burial?

A burial tree urn is a biodegradable enclosure that stores your loved one’s cremated remains to convert them into a tree. The process is kinder to the environment, unlike the conventional wood casket, since it doesn’t take long to fuse with the soil and decompose.

Related Reading: 10 of the Best & Most Popular Carbon Offset Providers of 2022

Tree Coffins vs. Conventional Burials

Tree coffins are getting more popular as people opt for more eco-friendlier burials. Instead of the conventional funerals that cause pollution, you can go for a natural process where your body becomes one with nature.

Tree coffins are also symbolic of a new life because the tree grows by obtaining nutrients from the cremated remains. Those you leave behind will have a living memory of you when they look at the beautiful tree.

Living Urn Tree Options: Common Trees Planted in Different States

Red Maple Tree
It is the Living Urn’s most commonly planted tree since it is hardy and grows to become a stunning giant tree. It has a bright red shade all year long, is drought-resistant, and can grow in various locations.

The massive root system is also easily adaptable to various conditions, explaining why it is a dominant tree in the US, growing in several states.

Low angle view of red maple tree trunks, brances and red leaves.

Close up image of White Oak tree branches and trunk.

Oak Tree
This magnificent tree is the second most common option from The Living Urn and is the national tree. It represents endurance and fortitude and is flexible to thrive wherever you plant it.

You can choose the Willow Oak, Northern Red Oak, White Oak, or any other preferred version.

Dogwood Tree
The elegant white and pink trees are also popular in several states thanks to the bright blooms that make them perfect for landscaping.

They are also a favorite of songbirds who love fruits.

Close up image of White Dogwood branches and blooming flowers.

Wide shot of Weeping Willow tree with a lake background.

(Image: David Veksler18)

Weeping Willow
A symbol of peace and calmness, the Weeping Willow is another excellent tree to choose for a natural burial. It is as hardy as the Maple and Oak, and you are sure it will stay strong and healthy for a long time regardless of the climate or soil type.

Flowering Cherry
This elegant tree is originally from Japan and is a top choice for landscaping in the US.

It has bright white and pink flowers, and many use it as a shade for relaxation or recreation.

Close up image of cherry blossom flowers with pink petals.

(Image: dewdrop15730)

Close up of a Crape Myrtle with red petals and yellow anther.

(Image: ignartonosbg19)

Crape Myrtle
This tree is ideal for those who don’t want giant species since it is tinier compared to giants like the Oak and people love the pink and red blooms that make it perfect as a decorative tree.

It grows pretty fast and stays sturdy once mature since it is drought resistant. You can consider it if you have less planting room because it is relatively tiny when fully grown.5

How Does a Bio Urn Tree Work?

The Bio Urn comprises 100% recycled, locally sourced materials from papers, coconut shells, cellulose, and other natural substances. The decomposable materials will offer the necessary nutrients for plant growth when you pour ashes into the urn and bury it with a tree above.

Bios Urn works excellently with any seed or seedling, ensuring that the remains fuse with nature and grow into a beautiful tree. You can pick any tree of sentimental value to you and your loved ones, but check that it is a perfect fit to thrive in your region.

Become a Tree When You Die: Cost

If one chooses to become a tree after death, numerous options are available. The cocoon tree pod burial cost is one of the inquiries. Tree burial cost usually depends on the rates of your chosen company and what you want to pay, but generally, a tree burial pod can cost between $400-$500.2

On average, you may need to set aside some hundred dollars for the burial since a full funeral with tree burial can cost $1000-$2000, but urns tend to be cheaper, going for $65-$300.

Burial Laws and Costs in Each State

The cost and laws governing burials vary by state. The cost for each state are listed below:14


Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
AlabamaDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $6
AlaskaDeath Certificate: $30
Additional Copies: $25
ArizonaDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $5
ArkansasDeath Certificate: $10
Additional Copies: $8
CaliforniaDeath Certificate: $21
Additional Copies: $21


Photo of a white urn in a wreath inside a church.

(Image: Rafaela Jasmin20)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
ColoradoDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $13
ConnecticutDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $20
DelawareDeath Certificate: $25
Additional Copies: $25
FloridaDeath Certificate: $5
Additional Copies: $4
GeorgiaDeath Certificate: $25
Additional Copies: $5


Photo of a white urn with green grass on it.


Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
HawaiiDeath Certificate: $10
Additional Copies: $4
IdahoDeath Certificate: $21
Additional Copies: $16
IllinoisDeath Certificate: $19
Additional Copies: $4
IndianaDeath Certificate: $8
Additional Copies: $4
IowaDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $20


Photo of a brown marble urn placed on tope of a box with a thick white candle beside it.

(Image: Katja_Kolumna22)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
KansasDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $15
KentuckyDeath Certificate: $6
Additional Copies: $6
LouisianaDeath Certificate: $7
Additional Copies: $7
MaineDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $6
MarylandDeath Certificate: $10
Additional Copies: $12


Photo of a black urn placed at the bottom of a big tree.

(Image: brainman23)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
MassachusettsDeath Certificate: $32
Additional Copies: $32
MichiganDeath Certificate: $34
Additional Copies: $16
MinnesotaDeath Certificate: $13
Additional Copies: $6
MississippiDeath Certificate: $17
Additional Copies: $6
MissouriDeath Certificate: $13
Additional Copies: $10


Photo of a burial ground most probably for a child with a reindeer doll on it.

(Image: brainman24)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
MontanaDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $8
NebraskaDeath Certificate: $16
Additional Copies: $16
NevadaDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $20
New HampshireDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $10
New JerseyDeath Certificate: $25
Additional Copies: $2


Photo of a burial tree for Gaby who lived from 1957 up to 2011.

(Image: brainman25)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
New MexicoDeath Certificate: $5
Additional Copies: $5
New YorkDeath Certificate: $30
Additional Copies: $30
North CarolinaDeath Certificate: $24
Additional Copies: $15
North DakotaDeath Certificate: $5
Additional Copies: $2
OhioDeath Certificate: $21.50
Additional Copies: $21.50


Photo of a well-arranged cemetery with properly alligned tombs.

(Image: Tom Fisk26)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
OklahomaDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $15
OregonDeath Certificate: $25
Additional Copies: $25
PennsylvaniaDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $20
Rhode IslandDeath Certificate: $22
Additional Copies: $18
South CarolinaDeath Certificate: $12
Additional Copies: $3


Photo of offerings to a tree wherein ashes are buried.

(Image: brainman27)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
South DakotaDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $15
TennesseeDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $15
TexasDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $3
UtahDeath Certificate: $30
Additional Copies: $10
VermontDeath Certificate: $10
Additional Copies: $10


Aerial shot of a cemetery.

(Image: Tom Fisk28)

Burial Laws and Costs in Each StateBurial Cost
VirginiaDeath Certificate: $12
Additional Copies: $12
WashingtonDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $20
Washington D.C.Death Certificate: $18
Additional Copies: $18
West VirginiaDeath Certificate: $12
Additional Copies: $12
WisconsinDeath Certificate: $20
Additional Copies: $3
WyomingDeath Certificate: $15
Additional Copies: $10


Photo of a sad woman while holding on an urn probably grieving during winter.

(Image: Arkhod29)

Also, note that these costs vary based on several factors, and the total funeral expenditure may be higher. It is still worth the price since it is kinder to the environment, and the entire concept is more meaningful.

How Much Does a Capsula Mundi Cost?

The Capsula Mundi is a brilliant design, and it is evident that a lot of work has gone into the conceptualization, execution and end result. The egg-shaped structure symbolizes an egg which is how most life forms start.

This tiny encapsulation may seem simple, but it is quite an intricate piece of engineering, ensuring that it is fully biodegradable. As expected, the Capsula Mundi doesn’t come cheap because you buy an innovative and complex system.

The urn costs around $460, excluding other burial and cremation costs.8 However, this is not a fixed price; you can find one online without additional shipping costs.

The urn comes in two distinct colors, brown and white, and you can buy whichever you prefer.

Brown appears “earthy” and easily blends in with the environment, while white takes a shiny color that looks like an egg. The tree also features another brown shade that looks like sand, but all the urns are of the same bioplastic material.

All Capsula Mundi come from Italy, and you can order one if you need it from anywhere worldwide. Also, note that the package doesn’t come with a tree, and you should make prior arrangements for one.

How Much Does a Tree Pod Burial Cost: Tree Pod Burial Cost

The organic burial pods range from $400-$500 based on the company’s rates and whether you need to include other services. Cremation rates are at about $1000 unless you find simple urns in the market for $200 or less.

These charges do not include the funeral costs; you may spend $1000-$2000 in total, although biodegradable urns are usually cheaper. Additionally, burying in a conservation cemetery will cost you $1000-$4000.

If you are eco-conscious and want a green burial, you can consider biodegradable tree urns and pods like the Capsula Mundi.13 This way, you can become a tree after death and let nature reclaim you as you leave your family a memory they will always hold dear.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Become a Tree After Death

Will There Still Be a Funeral When You Turn Into Tree When You Die?

Opting to become a tree after death doesn’t necessarily mean that you will skip other burial rites and formal ceremonies. If you want a service, your loved ones can hold one before the cremation or afterward with the ashes in the urn.

Where Can I Find Biodegradable Urns?

Companies like The Living Urn provide living trees of 2-4 feet alongside biodegradable urns, and the plant comes in a sturdy pot with a robust root system inside. There are several tree options for clients based on preference or ability to survive in the region.

Is Becoming a Tree After Death Right for You?

Discussing death may be upsetting for most people, but since it is inevitable, it is best to decide how your loved ones will go about it. The traditional coffin has been used all along, but it has proven to harm the environment with time.

What Are the Biodegradable Urns Tree (Tree Types)?

Some of the most common trees that are planted with biodegradable urns are, Red Maple, Dogwood, Crape Myrtle, Oak, Bonsai, Flowering Cherry, Willow, Rubber Tree, Areca Palm, Norfolk Island Palm, and Fiddle-Leaf Fig.


1Bios Urn. (2022). Places Where The Bios Urn® Can Be Planted In North America. Bios Urn. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

2Jacobson, e. a. (2022, August 12). How To Be Buried as a Tree. WikiHow. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

3Krosofsky, A. (2021, June 30). These Biodegradable Burial Pods Will Turn You Into a Tree. Green Matters. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

4The Living Urn. (2021, August 13). Most Common Trees Planted With The Living Urn (by state). The Living Urn. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

5The Living Urn. (2022). Tree Options. The Living Urn. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

6The Living Urn. (2022). With The Living Urn®, Life Continues… The Living Urn. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

7Wight, K. (2022, April 22). How Eco-Friendly Tree Pod Burials Work: Cost, Process & Impact. Cake. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

8Wight, K. (2022, April 5). Want to Become a Tree When You Die? Here’s How. Cake. Retrieved September 28, 2022, from <>

9University of Florida Institute Of Food And Agricultural Sciences. (2017, October 27). Green Burial: A New Way of Thinking. University of Florida. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from <>

10Federal Trade Commission. (2012, July). The FTC Funeral Rule. FTC. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from <>

11State of Texas. (2022). Climate and Vegetation. University of Texas. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from <>

12Wikipedia. (2022, October 3). Natural Burial. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from <>

13Kenyon. (2022). About Green Burial. Kenyon. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from <>

14MH Sub I, LLC. (2022). Burial and Cremation Laws. Nolo. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from <>

15The Good Funeral Guide. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

16Sandy Millar. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

17alisonupdyke. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

18David Veksler. Unsplash. Retrieved from <>

19ignartonosbg. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

20Rafaela Jasmin. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

21INZEIN_URNS_DESIGN. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

22Katja_Kolumna. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

23brainman. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

24brainman. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

25brainman. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

26Tom Fisk. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

27brainman. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

28Tom Fisk. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

29Arkhod. Pexels. Retrieved from <>

30dewdrop157. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>